“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Have you ever doubted the love of God in your life? Do little things happen that are not a part of your plan and cause you to wonder, “Don’t You love me God?”
Have you ever been there? Have you been in the midst of some difficult circumstances and wondered if God loves you? Or, have you ever believed that you sinned so greatly that God could never love you or accept you? Some of you have, I know.
What would you have to see or experience to realize this love? How about a day where everything goes right, or an extra paycheck or bonus shows up in your mail slot? For multitudes of people the gauge of God’s love are the circumstances in their lives. If things go well then God loves them and is pleased with them. If things go badly then God is somehow displeased with them, especially if things go wrong for an extended period of time.
I once went through a horrible time of conflict and thought that God was done with using me in ministry as a result of it. I was very, very sad at this thought but wanted what God wanted for me and for His church. I did not realize that I was questioning God’s love for me in the midst of all that grief until I was asked to participate in the Christmas service by reading the Word of God to the congregation. I was simply overjoyed at the privilege of being asked to share the very Word of God on Christmas and vividly recall hanging up the phone and with shouts of joy and tears saying, “You do still love me! You do still love me!”
Until that moment I did not realize I doubted Him. I also did not realize that my beliefs were in conflict with the truth of Scripture. I did not realize what an insult such thoughts and beliefs truly are.
Listen, when you are tempted to think such thoughts ask yourself this, exactly how much more would God have to do for you to show you that He loves you? What more this there than death?
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
I repeat, what more can a person do for you to show you His love than to die for you? We make heroes out of men who jump on train tracks to rescue a little child and rightfully so! What about one Man who provided a way of rescue for every man woman and child ever born? What else could He possibly do to persuade you of His love?
Jesus is enough! His death was enough to prove the love of God for us my friends. His death was sufficient to secure our salvation. His death was enough to secure our life. His death was proof of His love as on that day for the first time ever in all of eternity God turned His face away from His own Son. (Matt.27:46)
But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering… Isaiah 53:10
God did not spare His own Son in any respect in this death. Jesus’ death was not private as His betrayer’s was. (Matt. 27:3-5, Acts 1:18) It was not a simple hanging in a deserted place or a neat and orderly affair, it was a bloody, messy, vile affair that was public; and every stripe was intentional, every drop of blood spilled was accounted for.
In his book Grow in Grace Sinclair Ferguson says, “When we think of Christ’s dying on the cross we are shown the lengths to which God’s love goes in order to win us back to Himself. We would almost think that God loved us more than he loves His Son. We cannot measure His love by any other standard. He is saying to us, ‘I love you this much.’”
Carefully read Isaiah 53 today. Spend some time meditating on the great love that God has shown us in Jesus Christ. Put away the childish notions that worldly things are evidence of His love and favor and instead think on things that are true (Phil 4:8)