The Perfectly Loving God
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
This is the central theme of the Bible, God’s love letter to mankind. Holy God could easily have done away with all association with humankind at the point when Adam and Eve disobeyed in the Garden of Eden. But even then, He chose to clothe the man and woman, now conscious of their nakedness after their sin. In an act that foreshadows the slaying of His own Son, He slew that first animal to make this possible. But even before this fall, God, who is all knowing, had set in place the way of man’s redemption through the perfect Lamb of God (Revelation 13:8). But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). How kind! How perfectly loving!
Through the history of the children of Israel, one realizes that God’s heart remains the same. In the book of Jeremiah, the last prophet before Judah’s captivity as a result of continuously sinning against God (rebellion, idolatry, false prophesy, injustice, and oppression – Jeremiah 2, 3, 5, 7, 23), we find God’s promise to restore His people. The restoration is described lavishly in Jeremiah 30 to 33. Only a perfectly loving God could make this possible. Listen to His endearing words in Jeremiah 31:3-4:
3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, [a] saying: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love, I have drawn you to myself. 4 I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel. You will again be happy and dance merrily with your tambourines.”
Regardless of Israel’s failing, God is unstoppable in what He will accomplish through His perfect love: restoration, re-identity, and re-establishment of the fullness of life. This is the redemption we find in Jesus Christ.
God will not fall short in our generation. This troubled world that we live in and people’s constant deviation from His ways are no match for His unfailing, perfect love. As ones who have experienced this love, we are called to love. 1John 3:18 encourages us to love not only in word and speech, but in action and truth. This love which originates in God displays itself in actions of self-sacrifice, following the example of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:2). It calls for sincerity (Romans 12:9), for practically endeavoring to meet the needs of others (James 2:15-16), the giving of our time, talent, and treasure without counting the cost, going out of our way to see others served and bettered because Christ, who is perfect love, lives His life through us.