How assured can believers be of the love of God? Nobody is going to argue against this – of course we believe God’s love is something we can be assured of. But is it ABSTRACT or is it PERSONALIZED? How do we personalize this assured love of God for all who believe in Christ?
1. Personalize this assured love IN YOU:
Duet 7:7 says that God choses to set his affection on us NOT because we are ________ (fill in the blank for you: smart, good looking, carreer succesful, good grades, good marriage, etc.) BUT because HE simply chooses to set his affection on us. If I tell my wife I love her because of her smart thinking ability, for instance, what assurance of my love for her does she have when a decision of her’s proves to be clearly wrong? What about if someone smarter comes along? If this were the case, her whole sense of who she is would be wrapped up in the one thing I value most in her – her smarts. But if I love her simply because I love her, then nothing can move this assurance of my love for her as she fails, succeeds, or stays the same. How much greater then with God – Romans 8 says shall shall life or death or angels or principalities, etc. separate us from God’s love? No! Why? Because God’s love for me is NOT based on anything He saw/sees in me but simply because He chose to love me! That is solid! That is personalized and not abstract!
2. Personalize this assured love IN CHRIST:
No matter what is going on INSIDE of you AND/OR OUTSIDE of you, believer, we are loved by God more than we ever dared hope. Rom 8:35 says that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ for us – neither tribulation (ouside), distress (inside), or persecution (outside / inside), etc. The gospel is this: on the cross Christ was foresaken and abandoned by God for my sin so that I would never be abandoned. On the cross as Christ bled and suffered a brutal death, Jesus had all the powers of hell coming down on him, wave after wave after wave. He did not abandon us at that moment which would have made these waves of torment on the cross stop. If he did not abandon me then, HOW MUCH MORE will he not abandon me now when I have a rough week, when my kids don’t obey as they ought, when I respond in ways to others that I need to confess, when my good actions are rooted in selfishness, when I revert to a “functional savior” for comfort and hope, etc. This is what it means to personalize this non-abandonment love of God in Christ Jesus for ME!
Is God’s love for you an abstract idea or a weighty reality?
-notes from Tim Keller sermon, part 6 of How the Spirit Transforms