The Love of God
July 31, 2022
In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God (John 16:26-27).
Frederick M. Lehman (1868-1953) penned these words to one of my favorite hymns: “Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made; were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill, and ev’ryone a scribe by trade; to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky. O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure - the saints’ and angels’ song.”
It would be an enriching enterprise to the mind, heart, and spirit to spend a day meditating on the love of God. Think of it - the great God of all creation; the one true and living God who is all knowing, all powerful, all present at all times; the God who created the billions of stars in the heavens and knows each one by name; the God who has existed forever in eternity past and will exist forever in eternity future - not only knows me intimately and by name, but loves me!
The Father Himself loves you. What a magnificent thought. What a life changing revelation. We read about it in Scripture: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:9-10). Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1).
In our text the Apostle John used the form of the word phileo to express this love of God. It is the love of deep, caring, and compassionate affection. It is not a sterile or rigid love of fact, but the warm, meaningful, comforting love of feeling. Phileo is love expressed from the heart and is consistent with agapao, which is love expressed from the will. Agapao is love decided, directed, determined. Phileo is love declared, devoted, delighted. It is the love of parents for their beloved children, children for their beloved parents, and friends for their beloved friends.
God loves the world He created and sustains. Does He love all creatures? Yes. Does He love all mankind? Yes. Even the most vile sinner? Yes. But He expresses the deepest abiding love to those who love His Son, Jesus Christ. They are His spiritual children whom He loves as their spiritual Father. (Romans 8:15) For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father,” which expresses the deepest affection that exists between a loving Father and His beloved child. And this is the love the eternal, true and living God has for me! Think of it! Wonder of wonders! Amen.