WHY DOES GOD LOVE US 12-24-17

Why does God love us?

December 24th, 2017

 

         Children are curious beings.  I read a report that says children ask their mothers an average of 288 questions a day!  Although on Christmas Eve the thing I bet they are wondering most about is what will be under the tree for them, on any other day of the year I’m guessing their most popular question is one word, “Why?”  

       Some of us adults are more naturally curious than others, always questioning and wondering.  While some are content to go through life just getting by, others are constantly seeking to learn more, to do more, to achieve more.  Anyone that has known me for any length of time, knows that I fall into the latter category. 

       And so I’m glad that a quest for knowledge and understanding is encouraged in the Bible.  King Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, said in the second chapter of Proverbs, “Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” 

       God does not ask us for blind faith.  Yes, Jesus said “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29), but he also revealed himself to Thomas in spite of his doubts.  There will be times we are called upon to trust Him when we don’t understand why things are happening a certain way.  But he welcomes our questions, and he wants us to seek answers and understanding.  And didn’t Jesus tell us to become as little children (in Matthew 18:3)?  Then it must be OK to ask him “Why?”

       When we were children, there were times that we would ask our mother or father a question, and the only answer we would get in return was “Because I said so!” And while we weren’t happy with that answer, it usually meant we were not old enough yet to understand the answer, but we needed to trust the parent that what they were telling us was for our own good.  Again, it is the same way with God.  We don’t always get an immediate answer to our question.  Sometimes we need to mature in the faith a bit longer before we can fully understand the answer.  But when we are ready he will provide it.  And when we finally get to heaven, he promises he will answer ALL our questions, and will we have complete understanding.  When we arrive, it will be like the proverbial light bulb over our head turning on, and we will smile and say, “Now, I get it!”

       But back to my original question…  “Why does God love us?”  One of my favorite websites is GotQuestions.org.  I figured this question that God put into my heart for this morning’s sermon, had to be a question that others have asked, and so I typed it into the search box on that website.  Here is the answer that came up:

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       Answer: This short question is among the most profound questions ever asked. And no human would ever be able to answer it sufficiently. One thing is certain, however. God does not love us because we are lovable or because we deserve His love. If anything, the opposite is true. The state of mankind since the fall is one of rebellion and disobedience. Jeremiah 17:9 describes man’s inner condition: “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” Our innermost beings are so corrupted by sin that even we don’t realize the extent to which sin has tainted us. In our natural state, we do not seek God; we do not love God; we do not desire God. Romans 3:10-12 clearly presents the state of the natural, unregenerate person: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” How then is it possible for a holy, righteous, and perfect God to love such creatures? To understand this we must understand something of the nature and character of God.
       First John 4:8 and 16 tell us that “God is love.” Never was a more important declaration made than this - God is love. This is a profound statement. God doesn’t just love; He is love. His nature and essence are love. Love permeates His very being and infuses all His other attributes, even His wrath and anger. Because God’s very nature is love, He must demonstrate love, just as He must demonstrate all His attributes because doing so glorifies Him. Glorifying God is the highest, the best, and the most noble of all acts, so, naturally, glorifying Himself is what He must do, because He is the highest and the best, and He deserves all glory.
       Since it is God's essential nature to love, He demonstrates His love by lavishing it on undeserving people who are in rebellion against Him. God’s love is not a sappy, sentimental, romantic feeling. Rather, it is agape love, the love of self-sacrifice. He demonstrates this sacrificial love by sending His Son to the cross to pay the penalty for our sin (1 John 4:10), by drawing us to Himself (John 6:44), by forgiving us of our rebellion against Him, and by sending His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, thereby enabling us to love as He loves. He did this in spite of the fact that we did not deserve it. "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
       God's love is personal. He knows each of us individually and loves us personally. His is a mighty love that has no beginning and no end. It is this experiencing of God’s love that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. Why does God love us? It is because of who He is: "God is love."

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          Not too much I can add to that, other than to say that I am truly happy that God does indeed love us.  And I hope that you are, too.  Amen.

CHILDREN'S MESSAGE:

Why does God love you?        

Is it because you’re good?

Is it because you listen,

And do what you should?

No, God loves you always,

Even when you’re bad,

He loves you when you’re happy,

And He loves you when you’re sad,

He loves you when you go to church,

And He loves you when you pray,

But also when you go to school,         

Or go outside to play.

God will always love you,

And I hope you love Him, too.

Remember He sent Jesus,

As His Christmas gift to you.