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God's Ultimate Display of Loveby Duane Mabee on March 31, 2021
This is how God showed His love among us:
He sent His one and only Son into the world
that we might live through Him.
This is love:
not that we loved God, but that He loved us and
sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
(1 John 4:9-10 NIV)
This week we celebrate Easter – God’s ultimate display of love for us. God loved us even though we didn’t love Him. He loves us still even when we choose not to love Him. He freely chose to remove the barriers that kept us from Him. He did it through the death and resurrection of His Son Who “loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God,” (Eph 5:2 ESV).
We didn’t love God first. He loved us. He sought us out. We didn’t seek Him. He saw the breach the kept us from Him. He initiated the plan that could bridge the gap. He did the hard work. He paid the steep price. He chose to show us love when we didn’t show any for Him.
There could be no greater demonstration of God’s love than the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13 NIV). He said that just before He willingly gave up His life on the cross to pay for our sin.
Easter is God saying to you, “I love you and I want you to be My child”. Easter is God’s invitation for you to come into a close relationship with Him. God did all the hard work to make that possible, but the only way you can benefit from it is by receiving what He did for you as a gift.
Salvation is an extravagant gift. It is an expensive gift. But it is a gift. God will not force you to receive it. He will not coerce you into a relationship with Him that you do not want.
Jesus came to die in your place to pay the penalty for your sins on your behalf. His death and resurrection made it possible for your sins to be completely removed if you trust in Him by faith. To trust in Him by faith, means that you believe He is the Son of God and that He died in your place to pay for your sins. It means you stop trying to cover your sins. Instead, you confess them and repent of them. Then you receive His offer of love and rely on what His did for you to make you right with God. You surrender your life to His control. When you do that, Jesus removes your sin and makes you a dearly loved child of God. Easter is God holding His hand out to you saying, “I love you. Will you receive My love?” Won’t you take hold of His hand and receive the gift of love He is offering you?