1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Have you ever stopped and thought about the awesomeness and power of God? I’ve done that on numerous occasions, but this morning I was graced with a new revelation that made God seem even more marvelous to me than He ever was before.
I reflected on the great flood this morning. God was so angry with his creation that he decided to destroy everything. He was so disappointed with man that He felt the best way to resolve the problem he was having with us was to get rid of us. Thankfully Noah was a righteous man who found favor with Him and because of His righteous lifestyle we were saved. Noah’s relationship with and commitment to God wasn’t the focal point of my ponderings though.
This morning I realized that if God wanted to He could destroy us. At the sound of His voice he could wreak havoc upon the earth and wipe out our entire generation. He could look upon us and become so annoyed with our perverseness and lack of love and honor for Him that he could cause us to disintegrate and so end the vicious cycle of life and death. God has the power to do whatever he wants and yet from the beginning of time he bound himself to never committing such an act by making a promise not to do so, understanding that once that promise was made he would be bound to it because he cannot lie. That, to me was him exercising the greatest act of love towards men.
I know the crucifixion of Christ for most is the greatest act of love demonstrated by God and that may be true but in this moment I disagree. For me, the greatest act of love is having the power and authority to destroy a people who have no regard for you; the highest being in heaven and earth, and choosing not to exercise that power. It takes great love to choose to look past who we are and see us for who we were intended to be and choosing to love us for who we were meant to be while waiting patiently for us to love you back. Added to that God continues to love us even when we hurt His heart intentionally, when we continue to pierce His son’s side through our actions and instead of taking revenge he continues to bless us and wait for us to change.
Who does that? I’ve heard so many people say “If I were God…………” and that statement usually ends with the horrible ways they would treat man and the way they would choose to destroy them. Even I have fallen into that bracket. So many times I’ve wished God gave me the power to zap people and situations and make them disappear. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen Christians fail and instead of loving them I’ve condemned them because they didn’t meet the ideal I’ve set in my heart of how Christians should be. All the while not realizing that in my condemnation of them I would have hurt God’s heart as well. I would have failed Him by choosing to judge rather than help and love my brother or sister. My foolish thinking would have caused me to fall into the same category as everyone else I would have wanted to get rid of. Thankfully God is not like man and His mercies are new every morning.
I think I’ve realized why men could never come to the understanding of who God really is, why we can never truly fathom the His ways or wisdom. Why we struggle with so many people and situations in life. It’s because we are unable to love the way he does. We can love our friends and families but can we truly love men? Can we look at a person, seeing all of their evil and wicked ways and still choose to love and care for them? Can we truly see people as someone made in God’s image and likeness and love them with that understanding rather than having to see the good in them before we begin to exercise our love for them?
I’ve decided to challenge myself. For the next week I’m going to choose to love people. In spite of their ways, attitudes, behaviors or any other characteristic they may possess that I don’t like or agree with, I’m going to love them. I understand that would probably be a bit challenging because I’m going to have to choose not to act on anger or be fueled by disappointment, but I’m going to have to love them in spite of. This is going to be one of those challenges where I’m only going to understand it entails after I’ve begun but I’m not going to let that deter me. I understand that I will probably never be able to love the way God loves but hopefully I’ll learn some lessons in loving that will help me to be a better person and have a better impact on the world for the honor and glory of God.
If you’re up to it maybe you can take up the challenge as well and let me know what your week of love was like. I look forward to hearing your stories.
Happy love week everyone!