Is God's Love Enough For You?
--Part 5 of the God's Love Series
In the previous 4 sections, weíve seen that God as demonstrated His love for us in various ways.
He has chosen us to be His adopted children, and we receive all the privileges that go along with
that. He sent His Son to die for us, and the death occurred while we were yet sinners. Finally, He
gave us His written word, which allows us even more opportunities to read and hear stories
demonstrating His love for us.
For the purposes of this study, it may be said that there are three kinds of Christians:
1. Those who simply need to get the fact that God loves them.
2. Those who need to know how much He loves them.
3. Those who may have an understanding of Godís love, but it isnít enough.
Itís my observation that most Christians sometimes flow freely from one category to the next. At one time or another, circumstances may affect a mature Christian to the point that he doesn't feel loved by God, as he is focused on the circumstances instead of his Lord. He needs to be reminded of just how much God loves him.
However, the danger I find myself falling into (and you should look inward to see if this applies to your self as well) is the pursuit of other things that may not be what God has planned for us. In other words, I may sense Godís love in a profound way on Friday, and then spend Saturday grumping that I can't afford a wide-screen TV.
Philippians 3:8"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ."
This may be a familiar verse to you. The danger about familiar verses is that we have a hard time getting deep and meditating on them. But this verse warrants our undivided attention.
God has made it clear that He loves us. He is passionate about us. He wants us to get to know Him. The Enemy knows this, and he wants to direct our attention elsewhere. He doesn't want us to know this verse.
Read it again. It says that anything and everything you view in life as important is trash, if it doesn't have to do with getting to know Him.
If you have read this far, you are probably aware that we should avoid sin. But this verse applies to so much more. Our families, even our ministries, can become idols. Do you place a higher value on your boss's approval than on Godís love for you?
Acts 20:24a"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me."
CircumstancesOne of the most common themes in Sunday morning sermons is "Don't focus on your circumstances." This is a lesson that we all need to get deep inside of us. If I am unhappy because my job is getting stressful, or because I have money problems, I need to remind myself, "Yes, but God loves you." There is nothing more important than that. However, if someone reminds me that God loves me, and I don't break out of my funk, then I have just slapped God in the face. The fact that God loves me should be enough. Is Godís love enough for you?
Satan found a way into Adam & Eve's heart by exploiting this weakness. God's love should have been enough for them, but he convinced them that it wasn't.
Genesis 3:4-6"'You will not surely die,' the serpent said to the woman. 'For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good from evil.' When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband and he ate it."
Replacing GodSatan is really in the replacement business. He fell (while he was Lucifer), when he wanted to replace God. He later created idols, trying to get people to worship them in place of the true God. Now, he gives us many distractions to keep us from focusing on God, and spending time in communion with Him. He has convinced us that there is something more, that getting to know God isn't enough, that there are more entertaining ways to spend our time.
If you are married, imagine how devastating it would be if your spouse announced to you that she thought she'd be better off married to your next-door neighbor. Your love isn't enough, and you are being replaced. This kind of spiritual adultery is essentially what weíre putting God through when we decide that His love isn't enough.
ContentmentWhat this comes down to, then, is contentment. This may be another familiar sermon subject, but don't gloss over it. Being content is one of the most underrated of all attributes that God expects of us. Itís easy to think weíre doing alright in Godís eyes as long as we arenít smoking, drinking, or swearing, but I am convinced that God is just as concerned about our willingness to be content with His love as anything.
Contentment is defined by Holman's Bible Dictionary as An internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances."
How to we apply this?This is really the core of this entire 5-part lesson about Godís love. He has shown us His love in more ways than we can count. We should use this to remind ourselves of whatís important. When we are worried that our boss just chewed us out, we should stop and think, "Yes, but God loves me so much that He adopted me." When we are down on ourselves, feeling worthless because of some sin that we just can't seem to stop committing, we should say "But Jesus loved me while I was yet a sinner."
This is the essence of taking our eyes off of us, taking our eyes off our circumstances, and focusing on Him.
If you find that a particular study has been helpful, I'd love to hear from you. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.