Friday, December 20, 2013

God's sacrifice

God Spells Love S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E

   “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. This is the kind of love Jesus demonstrated when He came to earth to die for your sins. He gave up everything for a time on your behalf, forgoing the honor and glory that are His due to becoming a human being-God in the flesh, fully God and fully man. (John 1:1)
   Why did He go through all of this for you? He did it to get rid of the one thing that separates you from the love of God-sin. Anything in your life that is displeasing to God and contrary to His law, God calls sin, and all of us are born with sin already in our hearts. (Romans 3:23)
   Sin is the big love-blocker, and only someone without sin can remove it from you. That Someone is Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God. He literally took your place by taking your punishment. When you believe that He did this for you, placing your faith in Him as your Savior, He wipes away every ounce of guilt and wrongdoing. (John 3:16; 13:1; Romans 8:1; 1 John 4:9-10) You are covered by His love and continue to live in His love forever.
   Understanding the absolute, unconditional security of His love is vital to having a free and stable relationship with Him…
…Jesus’ sacrifice is part of God’s agape love; you cannot fall out of God’s favor or lose His love as a result of anything you say or do or think. Ephesians 2:8-9 gives you this assurance: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one may boast.”
   You did not have to perform certain actions to earn His love. God loves you because He want to, and He never changes His mind-no matter what. (Romans 5:8)
“Telling God “I Love You Too”
As you feel His love surrounding you, enveloping your whole being with divine affection and unending attention, your natural response is to show Him love in return. Gratitude, adoration, closeness, respect, affection, a holy awe, tenderness-all these feelings and more can well up inside you, causing you to want to celebrate your fellowship with Him.
   …What you do with God’s Word, how much you jpay attention to His directions and commands, reveals a great deal about your love for God…Obedience is not an evaluation measure of performance but an indicator of priority.
   …As Jesus moves you to maturity and instills His principles into your life, you have the growing desire to do what pleases Him…
   …Obedience is not a mechanical, dull exercise of drudgery; it is the key to a true, godly liberty that knows no boundaries.

The Spiritual Foundations Series, The Love of God by Dr. Charles Stanley

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