What Manner Of Love?
The disciples were on the boat fighting for their lives as Jesus slept peacefully in the stern. Death was imminent, but Jesus didn't seem to have a care in the world. Finally, they shook Jesus awake.
"Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"
You can imagine their astonishment when Jesus rebuked the winds and the waves and everything went completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” - Matthew 8:27
What kind of man is this? Jesus had a knack for causing people to stand in amazement. Whether it's his teachings or miracle working power, he is something to behold.
However, when it comes to amazing things about God, I think the disciple John would agree God's love is even more profound than the miracles and teachings.
In fact, six decades after John was on the boat with Jesus, he wrote on this subject with incredible insight.
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! - 1 John 3:1
John writes with amazement about God's love. He wants his readers to understand there is something entirely profound and unique about his love.
Something totally foreign. Something counterintuitive to natural instincts. Something we've never experienced before. Something so divine it's difficult to comprehend.
The fact is we might not totally understand the vast nature of God's love, but that sure doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Paul said that comprehending the love of God actually fills us with all the fullness of God!
On that note, let's take a closer look at five facets of God's love that will change your perspective and fill you with joy!
#1 - GOD'S LOVE IS PERSONAL
God doesn't just love you in a general sense, he loves you very personally and specifically. You aren't merely a random number in a huge sea of people that God is supposed to love.
To the contrary, God loves you in personal way in that he knows everything about you and cares deeply about you. He knows what's happening in your life. He knows about the tears you cried last night. He even knows your favorite color. Every little part of you matters to him.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. - Luke 12:6-7
Listen to the words of Jesus. You could purchase five sparrows for a little pocket change, and yet not one of them is forgotten by God. If that's true, just think how much more valuable you are to God!
#2 GOD'S LOVE IS PERFECT
If being loved by God was predicated on our past, present or future performance, we would not be within his reach. The message of the gospel rings true in that God has always loved you and will always love you, not based on your merits, but based on the quality of his perfect love.
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
If you find yourself sinking in the quicksand of always trying to perform better in order to feel more loved by God, you can climb out of that trap today. Take a moment to consider the perfect manner by which God loves you. Accept his approval. Breath in his love. Believe it in your heart!
#3 GOD'S LOVE IS PERSEVERING
I found myself weeping in the car when the Lord restored me to repentance after going "wayward" for a short season in my 20s. I poured out my emotions and expressed to God my deep concern that perhaps years down the road I would grow wayward again. I didn't trust myself anymore (which, by the way, is a great place to be).
God interrupted my tears by softly whispering in my spirit, "I will never leave you or forsake you." It took a few moments to really understand what he meant, but it finally clicked! God wanted me to understand that persevering in the faith until the very end will ultimately happen because of his ability to remain faithful, not mine.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. - Philippians 1:6
If you find yourself broken and cloaked in failure, God will not leave you. If your best friends can't be found, God will not leave you. If your parents tell you to take a hike, God will not leave you. If your spouse left you for someone else, God will not leave you. Most importantly, if you feel completely unlovable due to your own failures, God will not leave you.
#4 GOD'S LOVE IS PROTECTIVE
God's kind of jealously is the best kind of jealousy. When his children start walking down the wrong path, he responds with action. Isn't that what love does?
Imagine little Jonny starts hanging out with the local drug dealer down the street. If Jonny's parents are not hot with jealousy for his devotion, there is really something wrong with their love.
The Lord will keep you from all harm and will watch over your life. - Psalm 121:7
God cares about you! Take courage knowing that when danger lurks about, God is watching over you. He will give you instruction and always protect your life.
#5 GOD'S LOVE IS PATERNAL
God wasn't satisfied with merely saving us from our sins. He wasn't satisfied giving us an amazing eternal destination. No! He did so much more by adopting us into his family.
We have the privilege of calling God our daddy! He made us his own children and relates to us as a father. Could there be anything more incredible to enjoy for all eternity?
You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. - Romans 8:15
You belong to a huuuuuge family! You are accepted, affirmed and loved. And, you have the best daddy in the universe. Really, what manner of love do we enjoy in Jesus?
Need more encouragement on this topic? Listen to the message called What Manner of Love? and learn how much God loves you. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this topic. Please comment below.