“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16)
In order to speak about God’s love, we have to start with John 3:16. You cannot love in a vacuum. Love must love someone or something: love must have an object. Yesterday we saw that God’s object of love is the world – you and me. What is surprising about this is that God doesn’t love the perfect you and me, God loves the sinful, messed up you and me. And the most amazing news is that God loves us so much, that God refuses to leave us in our sinful messed up conditions. God transforms us through his love.
The second thing that love requires is a choice. By choosing the world – you and me – as the object of love, it necessarily requires a decision against anything that would cause harm to you and me. That’s what it means to make a choice.
This is huge!!! Love is not a feeling or an emotion. Ultimately, love is a decision, it’s a choice.
By choosing us, it is a rejection of everything that is not for our best. That’s what love does. When we love someone, we hate the things that hurt and injure our loved ones. It would be preposterous to love the things that hurt and injure our loved ones.
It is impossible to love all things. When I say I love God, it’s much like saying I love Helen, my wife. It would be preposterous to say I love Helen, but I love Lisa. And, oh. I love Margo too. Don’t forget, Heidi. Love her too! Pledging one’s love to your spouse necessarily means a rejection of everyone that is not your spouse. There is a love relationship and decision for your spouse that must exclude a decision for anyone else.
When God makes a decision to love you and me as the object of his love, that meant a rejection of everything else that is not you and me. We will see that more clearly tomorrow.
Love is not love in a vacuum. Love requires an object of love.
Love is a decision. The decision to love requires a rejection of everything and everyone that is not the object of love.
God loves you. God chose you.