God’s love – how are you sharing it?
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” Romans 5: 8-10
God loved us while we were His enemies. His love was poured out for us, even though we didn’t deserve it. He died for the guy who spat at him, the soldiers who mocked him, the leaders who condemned him and the men who betrayed him. But does this mean we automatically have a relationship with God?
In my understanding of relationships, it’s a two-way street built with time and trust. So when Jesus starts the love, us people need to respond back in kind. That’s when something magical happens because for the very first time we turn to face Our Creator.
If we tell community people that “God Loves Them”, our communication could be perceived incorrectly; this type of communication is deceptive at its worst, and ambiguous at its best. Because while that statement is absolutely true, God does love them, this does not necessarily mean He accepts them into His family – yet.
A community person may perceive if they are loved by God, then they are therefore acceptable and do not need to change their ways. They may assume, “If God loves me, I’m okay, I get to go to heaven.”
If that is the case, then why are we evangelising? Why bother planting and growing churches?
To me, it’s all about our response to His love. If we are God’s enemies, how can we be His friends?
I need to tell my community people that we surrender to Him.
Surrender means to stop resisting to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.
That happens when we repent to Him; repent is just a fancy word for changing our minds or turning around.
But what if the community people don’t want to repent? We cannot be in a relationship with an enemy, by definition an enemy is a metaphorical spear-chucker, and having a relationship with someone who is wounding you is nigh impossible. However, what IS possible is to love them – from a distance if necessary. Jesus calls us to love our enemies, and this one-way act of love can result in a relationship when the love starts to be reciprocated.
How can we love our enemies?
- Not speak ill of them
- Not get retribution
- Pray for them
Offer assistance when they ‘take’ or ask. Matt 6 (give tunic, turn the other cheek)
Remember, it’s God’s kindness that leads to repentance, (Romans 8) and His ‘enemy’ is in the process of repenting when they:
- realise they have done wrong
- humbly come and admit it
- attempt to make amends
Then a relationship can begin to develop between us and God, but it’s not an equitable partnership, it’s more like a son to a Father or a slave to a master. And if we are offended by that, we haven’t yet recognised the King in the Kingdom.
Our job is to communicate the Gospel with clarity so the community person can make an informed decision.
Thoughts by Vetti