By Pastor Ben Hill

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8

Augustine said: “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”

How motivating it should be to love when we think about God’s love for us! Yet why is it so hard to separate the love of God for us from our “performance” in loving back?! The pure perfection of His unconditional love is a concept; indeed, a Truth that must be accepted on faith because sin’s presence in our lives and our world make that pure unconditional love unobtainable for us. No matter how we may try, the “I” of sin will always get in the way somehow.

What, then, do we do? Focus on the reality that “God IS love!” He sees us through a timeless lens: simultaneously as we are AND how we will one day be! His love is pure… His love is proved… He gave His Son!! Jesus died because God is love.

During Oliver Cromwell’s reign as Lord Protector of England, there was a young soldier who was scheduled to be executed. His young fiancé pleaded with Cromwell to spare the young soldier’s life. Cromwell refused and the sentence was to be carried out when the curfew bell sounded. When that time came, the heavy rope of the large bell was repeatedly pulled, but there was no loud ringing sound! The soldier’s fiancé had climbed into the belfry and wrapped herself around the clapper so that it could not strike the bell. Her body was smashed and bruised, but she did not let go until the clapper stopped swinging. When she was brought down battered, bleeding and bruised, and Cromwell heard her explanation and saw her level of devotion and love, he commuted the sentence.

God’s love for you is displayed in brutally and beautifully vivid color as Jesus still bears the scars of being crushed to save you from eternal death! Just accept it…on faith. He really does love you!