February 17, 2014

God's Many Faceted Love by Bryan Norford

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Creation reflects the nature of God. Its varied splendour, its abundance, its joyful activities, and predominantly its faithful and loving relationships. That is a measure of God’s love for all humanity.

Of course, since Eden, humankind has been able to mess it up and introduce characteristics that are contrary to the nature of God, destabilizing the good earth, destroying its abundance, and turning joy into misery.

Even so, God provided a strategy that enables us to rediscover the missing joy we crave: He set out the Law—too often maligned by Christians and hated by those opposed to Him.

The Law was not an arbitrary set of rules to kill our joy—as many assume—but like creation, a further reflection of His nature; guidelines to a less natural, but temporary, refurbishing of His image formed in us at creation but lost at the fall.

The Ten Commandments summarize the components of love. Even Jesus summed up the Law as loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and loving our neighbour as we care for ourselves.

If we love God, we will not place other gods or goals before Him. If we love our neighbour, we will not kill him, steal from him, or covet his wife or anything else he has.

In fact, it was at the giving of the Law that God revealed His nature. As God set out a law that contained the ingredients of love, He also indicated the values by which He would apply that law: with compassion, grace, patience, love, faithfulness, forgiveness and justice. Exodus 34:6–7.

We humans recognize these characteristics because God has shared them as part of His image in us. Distorted though they are, as we express our love to one another with those values, we show evidence of our transformation to Christlikeness.

Does this sound like the love of a valentine? It should. For this is the standard of love God has set. Anything less is a thin veneer of self-serving affection posing as the real thing.

And that fullest expression of love: compassion, grace, patience, love, faithfulness, forgiveness and justice, should show first in our closest relationships, to our wives, husbands, and children, and then to the wider community.





Find God's direction in the Norfords’ marriage devotional, Happy Together, available in paperback or kindle from Amazon. 









4 comments:

fudge4ever said...

I agree, Bryan. God's laws are there to protect us and to give us joy. Thank you for your insight. Good scripture from Exodus 34!

Pam

Connie Mae Inglis said...

I have friends who struggle with seeing the God of the Old Testament as a loving God--not me. God shows His love over and over again in the Old Testament. Just like you shared about the 10 Commandments--God showed love and then called us to do the same. Thanks for the reminder.

Tracy Krauss said...

God hasn't changed! amen!

Linda Aleta Tame said...

Thanks Bryan. Excellent post, as usual.