Relating to the God of love presents a great challenge to our hearts and minds because we have no frame of reference for One possessed of such character and others-centered devotion.
"God is love" (I John 4:8).
"Charity (love) seeketh not her own" (I Corinthians 13:5).
"The Son of man came not to be minister unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).
We all likely know people who consistently act, speak, and relate unselfishly. Perfect altruism, however, does not presently exist in any human being. We have never known any person who is never selfish. Open the pages of Scripture, however, and the Bible reveals the God whose nature involves the eternal quest to seek the benefit of others. This begins in Himself, that is, in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit's loving devotion to one another. It proceeds to God's relationship to those whom He created. "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jeremiah 29:11). Our Lord does everything in accordance with a mind and heart toward others, as guided by His perfect righteousness, wisdom, and holiness. This includes His merciful lovingkindness, displayed in obvious goodness, and His sanctions, revealed in chastening and wrath. "The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works… Righteous art Thou, O LORD, and upright are Thy judgments" (Psalm 145:9; 119:137).
Again, this is not easy truth to understand or assimilate as we ponder God, and as we seek to relate to Him. Our human experience is so tainted by self interest that we may project the same onto our Lord as we consider the teachings of Scripture, or as we seek to walk with Him. We must reject such distortion of His character in principle, consistently affirming to ourselves and each other that the God of the Bible cannot think, speak, act, or relate in anything less than pristine devotion to others. We must then seek to relate to God through Christ in the remembrance of such wondrous glory, realizing that we walk with One unlike ourselves, but who has undertaken the loving process of making us like Himself. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us… He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:5; Philippians 1:6).
Never selfish. From everlasting to everlasting, our Lord lives in an atmosphere and environment of heart beyond any contemplation of goodness we can presently fathom. We can believe, however, and we can seek to remember His heart as we relate to Him and to people. No truth more causes us to kneel before the living God. And no truth more raises up to walk in the wonder of the loving God. He alone provides our perfect frame of reference for such devotion to others. But we see reflections of His glory in those who seek to know the truth of our Lord's "Never selfish".
"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us."
(I John 3:16)
Weekly Memory Verse
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
(I Timothy 1:17)