For the first post in this series on walking with God, let’s reflect on God’s love. Reflection questions:
- What is love? What is love’s role in God’s nature and character?
- Why does God love sinners and prodigal sons and daughters?
- What does it mean to “accept” or receive God’s love?
All scripture passages from Berean Standard Bible via Biblehub
Berean Bible is public domain.
Has God’s love washed over the sands of your life?
God’s love make us alive!
Alive with Christ
1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, fulfilling the cravings of our flesh and indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.
4But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Paul clearly teaches us here that we as sinners are dead and objects of God’s wrath. That’s the natural human condition apart from God’s redemption. But does God leave us in this position? Why is in often hard to accept/receive God’s love?
No because of his “great” love and rich mercy, He makes us alive in Christ. It’s important to note when he does this wonderful work! This work occurs when we are still dead! Not after we have cleaned up ourselves, came to church, or made a decision for Christ. God loves us because it’s part of His character to love!
6For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8 is a key verse to share with others. People often wrongly think they have to get their lives “right” or stop some sin that shames them before coming to God. This is Satan’s handiwork to keep the lost away from grace and restoration.
Paul mentions the work of the “power of the air” in verses 2-3 of Ephesians 2. This is a reference to Satan and his powers of darkness. The spiritually dead and lost souls are in bondage to Satan and evil. God gives us a new “seat.” He raises us to the heavenly realms. Paul is referring to Christ’s resurrection and triumph over evil. For a more detailed explanation:
One of Paul’s major themes throughout the New Testament is God’s rescue from the kingdom of evil, sin, and death. Receiving God’s love brings us into True Life!
Why does God save us through grace?
God makes us his trophies of grace! God’s nature is to save, redeem, and glorify Himself through the process of saving and renewing us! Grace is more than unmerited favor. Grace is God’s character and nature! For a detailed explanation check out:
God shows His kindness by saving us! He reaches out and transforms us. His grace makes us new creatures in Him. God’s love is evident and worked into our lives through His mercy and grace. God calls the Prodigals to return to Him. He seeks out the lost sheep and rejoices in this process! Why do we resist? To accept God’s love requires that we desire to be loved. Future posts will explore our resistance to love and grace.
Saved as His workmanship
8For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.
God delights in us as His works! Have you considered how God views our struggles and successes? What if He delights in observing us standing firm and pressing ahead when things seem to be totally against us. I write these posts for those who are struggling, yet believing and pressing ahead. We’re God’s workmanship so we have a firm identity in Him regardless of how others forget, ignore, and pass us over.
God forges us with His love! Sharping and refining us into instruments of His grace.
Our Way of Life
Imitators of God
1Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, 2and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.
God makes us alive to save us, set us up for eternal glory with Him. He also glorifies Himself in our transformation. Our “work” for Him is imitate Him. We are to walk in love just as He loves. God’s love is agape. Our source of love is God’s love working and through us. More about agape and God’s love in next post!
Have you received Christ’s love? Is His love and presence in your life apparent to others? When facing difficulties, remind yourself that you’re God’s handiwork and that His love is part of His grace. We don’t have to be good enough or worthy. We realize that we’re lost and astray and need His kindness, mercy, compassion, and grace! Likewise as we receive, we also give! Are the shorter posts easier to read and understand? Plan to break down God’s love into several posts! Look forward to reading and having an opportunity to respond to your comments/questions!