Today, at Jefferson Baptist Church, Pastor Mike Dedera preached on love. The main point was this “if you have not been loved you will not be able to love”. Put another way, “you will only be able to love others to the degree that you have been loved by others”. That principle left to people will result in a gradual decline of love between people until there is no love left, just hate.
But the good news is God has infused our world with His love. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to leave heaven, to empty Himself of all that He was as God, become flesh like us, and then God reached into the past and the future and gathered up all the sins ever committed, put them on Jesus, looked at Jesus as if He actually committed those sins, and then Jesus died as punishment for my sins and yours. He did that for me because He loved me. I now am forgiven by God, adopted into His family, and I will live forever with Him because He loved me.
I know the facts of what Jesus did for me, I believe the words of the gospel to be true by faith, I accept the theology of Jesus taking my place, paying my debt, but today, gathered with others, worshiping God together, sensing His presence with us because we had gathered together in His Name, hearing the words preached by Mike I felt the emotion of God’s unconditional love for me in my heart. I experienced His love for me.
I can love others because He first loved me. I can love others unconditionally because He first loved me unconditionally. I can forgive others because He has forgiven me. But if God’s love for me remains an intellectual ascent to historical and theological facts my love for others will be rather Spock like. The emotion of love felt from God and felt for God is powerful, and transforms human relationships.