The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 2 - The "Why?" of Love
Considering the glory and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ as the answer to God's "Why?" in all things leads us to consider the most important reality of all in Him, namely, His love.
"Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24).
The blessed truth and reality of God's "eternal purpose" centered in the Lord Jesus Christ delivers us from the temptation to view ourselves in what could be the most dangerous and spiritually paralyzing focus of all, namely, "God loves me" (Ephesians 3:11). We rather seek to establish as primary in our hearts and minds that, as the Lord Jesus affirmed, "the Father loveth the Son" (John 3:35).
As one who loves the old hymn, "Jesus Loves Me," this almost seems counterintuitive to suggest. God does love us, to the degree of numbering the hairs on our head. Of far greater magnitude, He sent His Son to bear ours sins on the cross of Calvary, and even more, to bear God's wrath against sin. Never for all eternity will we fully comprehend this "love of Christ, which passeth knowledge" in terms of the personal devotion our Father directs toward us (Ephesians 3:11). We do well to embrace and absorb the Holy Spirit's imparting of assurance to our hearts regarding God's love, as known through the Scriptures and His personal working in our lives. "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (I John 4:16).
It remains true, however, that we must not view our Heavenly Father's love for us as central in Him, or most important to us. Indeed, such a focus would leave us more narcissistic and egocentric than any other perspective. God loves His Son, an eternal "from everlasting, to everlasting" reality that has always been, and will forever abide as primary and central in His heart. "Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world" declared the Lord Jesus to His Father (John 17:24). Indeed, love must be defined in eternal terms, meaning it existed when only God Himself existed. This cannot involve us, since we had a beginning and could not have been the objects of our Lord's love before we came into being. Only the "from everlasting" Lord Jesus can occupy this centrality of love in God the Father, and in our understanding of the glorious reality (Psalm 90:2). ***
That God's love for His Son serves as central and primary in His heart and purpose does not minimize His devotion to us in the least. The Lord Jesus prayed that we would know the Father's love for Him as the measure and mode of His love for us. "And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:26). The eternally ancient glory of a Father's love for His Son has been bestowed and become resident in all who trust the Lord Jesus. Writing the last sentence causes me to realize it is time to conclude this consideration. We arrive at wonder and the greatest of all mysteries when pondering that the love of God for His Son has become the love with which He will forever grace His trusting children in Christ. Why does God love us? The simplest, but most wondrously complex, answer is because He loves His Son. Maintaining this Christ-exalting and Christ-centered understanding of the love of God will lead us into wonders of grace and truth for which even eternity will not be long enough to discover.
"God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
*** The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the triune godhead, must certainly be viewed as no less present and involved in the eternal love of God than the Father and the Son. Scripture, however, provides little direct insight regarding His role and participation in the current topic, possibly because of the Holy Spirit's beautifully self-deferential inspiration of Scripture, wherein He clearly seeks to honor and reveal the Father and the Son (John 16:13).
Weekly Memory Verse
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.