The Love of Jesus

“God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son.” 1 John 4:12

There is no greater place to look when trying to understand the love of God than to Jesus and what He did for us beginning at the manger all the way through to the cross. As we prepare our hearts to celebrate Christmas in a few weeks it is really a day where the love of God can be seen through Jesus in its full measure – from cradle to grave.


John made it clear in his letter that it is not us who loved God first or moved towards Him, but that “God loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sin…”  It is impossible for us to begin to understand God’s love until we have gazed upon the depth of Christ’s love for us that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”


It was at the cross that we discover “the full extent” of God’s love for us. Despite who we are, despite our sin, our failures, and all the ugliness of who we are, it was at the cross we see God’s amazing and unconditional love for us. Pastor Tim Keller expressed this wonderful truth this way…   “Here’s the gospel: you’re more sinful than you ever dared believe; but you’re more loved than you ever dared hope.”


The deep healing in our own hearts and minds begins when we understand that despite the wreck of humanity and this world, despite my own personal sin and weakness, God loves me unconditionally and there is no greater demonstration of God’s love than the cross of Jesus Christ. Let us personalize John 3:16, “For God so loved me that He gave His only Son.” 


Several years ago a pastor received a letter from a distraught missionary whose daughter was struggling with anorexia. The missionary wrote this after battling with her destructive behavior for over a year, “She just needs to love God more.”   But the pastor, who understood better wrote back this, “No she needs to know how much she is loved by God.”   


If you are struggling with loneliness, despair, depression, or deep bitterness about the difficulties of life, open your heart to God’s love. Understand that He accepts you as you are – that is what why Jesus went to the cross. Understand that when we see the sacrificial love of God in Jesus, His agape love, than we can allow Him to fill those empty places that are so often filled with anger, despondency or a life of distraction.