I don't blog about my faith much as I don't want to 'put off' any potential readers or followers, but I thought that I would do a series of devotionals for the week running up to Easter :)
When I decided to do this post, I really felt that God really put this on my heart: that I don't understand the magnitude of his love. I find that I will use the phrase 'God loves me' so casually, in answer to questions at youth groups or in conversation but I don't really know what that means.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
God loves us more than is infinitely imaginable. As Paul said in the above letter to the Romans, nothing can separate us from God's love. Nothing. And I find that really hard to get my hear around, as there are so many human things which stop me loving people. I find myself sighing and saying that 'I hate' this or that person, but God doesn't hate anyone. He has this infinite love for us which I, for one, just cannot get my head round.
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)
It is tough for Christians in the UK at the moment. I know, it is nowhere near as tough as places where the church is actively persecuted, but the Christian church is not valued by the government or most of the population. At times it feels like everyone is set against you. One girl in my German class said that the bible contradicts itself because it says that we must love one another but to hate gay people. Now, I am not going to comment on homosexuality or anything like that, but rather the idea behind her preconception. If you hate someone, you are not following God. John spells it out in his usual wordy way as 'anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love'. God doesn't want us to hate one another, judge one another, put one another down. I know I am guilty of doing all three of those things and I don't want to be.
God calls us to love, as he has loved us.
even when it is so hard
And this was something that really struck me. It was what Rae told me in her letter of encouragement. It is what I need to start implementing into my life.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15)
So even though I know that I am still going to fall short, still going to fail to show his awesome and never ending love, he is merciful and gracious. It is important to seek him in all that we do and to try and live our lives according to his will, knowing that he will be there for us, even in our moments of weakness.
I just thought I'd end with the some of the closing verses of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.
Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong. Do all your work in love.