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The Matchless Love of God

The month of February immediately brings to mind thoughts of Valentine's Day, hearts, chocolate, flowers, and love. Join guest blogger, Brian Miller, today as he shares the amazing love of God―a love that surpasses anything the world can offer. 
WRITER’S NOTE: The following is adapted from a presentation I gave three years ago as a guest speaker at a small Bible church in Texas. At the time, I had been reading a book by Dr. David Jeremiah, God Loves You: He Always Has, He Always Will, so this blog contains several insights that impacted me at the time. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s timely to talk about God’s love, which is far different from Hallmark’s (the world’s) idea of romantic love. It’s important to draw the distinction, especially between love and lust. Love always gives; lust always takes. Anyway, here’s a brief glimpse at the matchless love of God.

"God’s love for you doesn’t depend on your perfection or achievement. It’s not that He looks away or isn’t concerned when you stumble. He sees it all, and He continues to love you with a love that is as eternal as eternity.”
 
― Dr. David Jeremiah

“God is love.” The Apostle John makes that statement several times in I John.
I want to make an important distinction here. John does not say, “Love is God.” We can’t make that mistake. There are many counterfeit loves in this world that are not in any way, shape, or form OF God. Notice also that he does not merely say, “God loves.” No, John wrote: “God is love.” Everything we see around us right now―you, me, the entire universe―is here because God is love. Everything He does, every action, is because He is love. Notice I said every “action,” not every action AND reaction. God acts. He doesn’t react. And when He acts, it is out of love. It is the essence of His divine nature.
Now you might say, “God is love. That’s all well and good to know. But how do I know who God really is? How do I know what love really is?”
Those two questions are one and the same. And here’s the key. The answers are provided to us in God’s Word. Assurance of His love is provided through His Word, as well as through the work of the Holy Spirit, whom each believer in Jesus Christ has within him.
Below are a few statements about God’s love, and I promise you, I’m not even scraping the smallest percentage off the tip of the iceberg of who God is and what love is. For you Texans, an iceberg is a really big chunk of ice; I’ll forgive you if you’re not familiar, but being from Minnesota, we get a lot of it, especially this time of year. So I guess not really icebergs, but you catch my (snow)drift. Consider these aspects of God’s love:

God’s love is uncaused by anything we do.

He loves us because He made us. He loves us because it pleases Him to do so. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love Him because He first loved us.” He loved us before we were born, before we even existed.

God’s love is unreasonable.

By that, I mean that He loves mankind despite our persistent rebellion against Him. I mean, as the Psalmist wrote, “Who is man that you should be mindful of him?” We’re prideful little specks of dust, spinning around on a piece of dust that’s spinning around another piece of dust … well, technically stardust, I guess. Yes, I guess I just called the sun, the center of our solar system, a piece of dust because it really is when compared to The Almighty.

There are 100 billion solar systems in the Milky Way alone. There are 100 billion-plus galaxies in the observable universe, and I get the feeling there is a whole lot more that man’s finite wisdom can’t see. There are more than a billion trillion stars in the observable universe. That’s 1 with 21 zeroes after it! That’s incomprehensible. Do you realize how finite we are? Yet, we minuscule dust particles shake our fists at God when things don’t go our way.
But still ... “God commended―that word means 'demonstrates’ ―His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). That is awesome. Those billion, trillion stars out there? God knows them all by name. Not only that, but God spoke them into existence. And yet He sent His only Son to die for us. Amazing.

God’s love is eternal. Unending. Everlasting.

Jeremiah 31:3 tells us, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, with lovingkindness have I drawn you.” God is eternal, and that means His love is eternal.

God’s love is unlimited.

I love the following passage taken from Psalm 139. (Because God is love, it has been paraphrased, substituting "Your presence" and references to God with His love.)

“Where can I go from Your love?
Or where can I flee from Your love?
If I ascend into heaven, Your love is there.
If I make my bed in hell, behold, Your love is there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there, Your love shall lead me,
And Your love shall hold me.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed the darkness shall not hide me from Your love.”

God’s love is unchanging.

Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the Lord; I do not change.” Because He is love, it means His love does not change either.

God’s love is unconditional.

Author John Ortberg stated: “Nothing you will ever do could make God love you more than He does right now: not greater achievement, not greater beauty, not wider recognition, not even greater levels of spirituality or obedience. Nothing you have ever done could make God love you any less: not any sin, not any failure, not any guilt, not any regret.”
Dr. David Jeremiah adds, “In other words, there is incredible hope for those who are disappointed in themselves. God’s love for you doesn’t depend on your perfection or achievement. It’s not that He looks away or isn’t concerned when you stumble. He sees it all, and He continues to love you with a love that is as eternal as eternity.”
I read those statements a while back, and it was like a lightbulb lit up for me. There is literally nothing I can do―good or bad―that will change God’s love for me. So, likewise, there is nothing you can do―good or bad―that can change God’s love for you.
That was something I was mixed up about for a long time. Unconditional love really is incomprehensible from a human perspective. God gave us his Holy Spirit, not so we can love Him, but so He can show us, through his Spirit, how much He loves us. That’s why we’re warned to “Quench not the Spirit.” When we do, we cannot truly appreciate or understand God’s love toward us.
I’ll wrap it up with a word of warning:

I John 2:15
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them.

And a word of encouragement:

Romans 8:38-39
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And one last one:

Psalm 63:3
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you.

This Valentine’s Day, no matter the condition of your human relationships, I pray each of you will know and embrace the matchless love of God.
Author Bio:
Brian Miller is a longtime newspaper columnist and freelance writer. He and his wife Bethany, a fellow “preacher’s kid” (and talented musician and chef), split their time between Eveleth, MN, and South Padre Island, TX. Brian seeks to use lessons learned in his life of God’s unchanging love, grace, mercy, and faithfulness to bring hope to others who may be struggling. The Millers are seeking God’s guidance for future ministry opportunities and appreciate your prayers. You may write to him at bd1976@pm.me.

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