Hi, Rob here. I loved David’s reflections on the wonder of God’s love for us. You know Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I was reminded in the weekend at a conference I was at about why love is the greatest: “Faith will become sight, hope will be fulfilled but love will remain forever.” Isn’t that cool! God wants to pour out his love on us forever.
The problem right now is that we’re not very good at receiving love. When Jesus was baptised in Luke 3:22 he heard these words from the Father, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus with those words of love resounding in his ears. Straight after this Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days. The power in our lives comes when we embrace the fact that God the Father calls us his son/daughter and he loves us and is well pleased with us. A key job for the Holy Spirit is to help us receive that message.
But as we grow up we often receive mixed messages around love. Maybe our parents were unaffectionate, absent or conditional in their communication of love to you. Maybe you were unceremoniously dumped by someone you had given your heart to. Maybe you were betrayed/abused/wounded by someone you trusted. No matter what the arrows were,the fact that they happened means it can become hard to give our heart away.
But God’s love isn’t defined by our wounds; it’s defined by his wounds. “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life (John 3:16, The Message).” “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16).” We are beloved children of God. May we open our hearts to the lover of our souls and look to his cross where we can give away our wounds and embrace his eternal love, the love that never fails, never dies.