Friday, October 11, 2013

The Loves of God

Most of us love a whole bunch of people. It’s how we’re built—we are built to love others and to have others love us. Sometimes we have a hard time knowing how to love others, but that’s what we’re meant to do. But for all those we love, we don’t love everyone the same. The love we give to our spouse isn’t the same love we give to our children, or to our parents or to our country or to our friends or our neighbor or the good-looking stranger we meet on the street. We may care for them all and have their benefit in mind when we do something for them, but the actual actions and love we have for each of them is different.

In the same way, God loves people differently. He has different kinds of loves for the different relationships he has with different people. We can look at different people and each of them has a different relationship with God.

Who Does God Care For?
God cares for everyone, all humanity. God doesn’t love just some people—he loves everyone. God displays his care on most of creation, but humanity is his crowning achievement, his greatest creation on work, and God loves every single one of us. He sees us for what we are—all of our weaknesses and our disgusting habits—and he loves us. He wants us just like we are.
From the time that humanity was created, God loves all people. He desires their well being, and wants the best for all of humanity. God provides food for all of his creation, especially human beings. God has given every human being authority over the other creatures of the earth, and so indicated that every human is significant. God also speaks to every person about their sin, in order to give everyone the opportunity to repent of their sin.

  • No person can say that there is no one to care for them— for God cares for them.
  • No one can say that there is no one to take care of them—God takes care of them.
  • No one can say that they are unimportant—God has given them importance from the beginning of creation.
  • No one can say that God rejects them— God will do everything he can to help every person achieve his blessing and a relationship with Him.
  • No one can say that God hasn’t spoken to them— God at the very least convicts each person of sin.

This means that whoever you see that you hate— God loves them and cares for them. The people who you think deserve nothing less than torture and punishment—God wants to bless them. God is not scared of unholiness or filthiness. He is not disgusted by the things we are disgusted by. It is a part of God’s holiness that he can overlook unholiness and it is a part of God’s purity that he can embrace impurity. And so nothing is separated from God’s love—no matter how many people may think that someone does not deserve love.

What is humanity that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet. Psalm 8:5-7

Who Does God Especially Assist?
Although God cares for everyone, he does not assist everyone. After all, not everyone needs his help. Some people do fine on their own, and so they never need him and never really ask for his help. Perhaps those who don’t need God will do what they can to be on God’s good side—go to church everyone once in a while or they may be somewhat religious. But they don’t really need God.

The ones whom God looks to help are the needy, especially the poor. Those who have no other resources to help themselves, those who have no human means of gaining help—those are the ones God especially looks out for. And no wonder, those are the ones who cry out to God for help time and time again. They see their need and they know that there is no one else to turn to except God, and so they seek him out.

This is why God will especially heal and protect the poor above all others. When an injustice is done against the poor, God is there to correct the injustice. And especially, God will punish every person who oppresses those who have no where else to turn. God’s wrath is especially on those who harm those who can do no harm.

The LORD executes justice for the oppressed; The LORD gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous; The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked. Psalm 146:7-9

Who does God choose?
However, not every person will receive God’s blessings. And not everyone is chosen by God to have the opportunity for God’s blessings. What are the blessings of God? Being forgiven of our sins, having a close relationship with Him, living with him forever, and having all of our needs provided for by God forever—that’s what God promises for us. And God chooses particular people to receive of this, while the others he does not.

The strange fact is that God has already chosen these people. All of them. He has made the decision not to choose everyone, but just one nation—a single country. They are the only ones who will be offered this blessing of God. It may seem like favoritism on God’s part, but it is his choice to give gifts as he chooses. And he made this choice from the beginning of the world.

Who did God choose? Originally, he chose Israel. And then, within Israel, he chose Jesus’ people. The nation that God chose is the nation of Jesus. The wonder of Jesus’ people, is that he is open to people of every race, every background, every language, no matter what one has done or even how evil they have been. Jesus is accepting of them all, and is ready to accept them into his people. All who are called are welcome into Jesus’ nation.

But to gain this love from God, we have to choose Jesus. That’s right. In order to be chosen by God, we have to choose Jesus. If we chose Jesus, then we are a part of the people who are chosen by God.

Everyone chosen by God receives his Spirit. Everyone chosen by God is adopted as a child of God, ready to receive of his blessings. And the chosen by God can know the true righteousness of God—what is really good and how to live it out. And they have their past—no matter how evil—wiped away and a new future to look forward to.

In love God predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will. Ephesians 1:5

Who does God bless?

The strange thing, though, is, not everyone who chooses Jesus receives God’s final blessing. Everyone who chooses Jesus has all the grace of God in order to be able to live in Jesus. They have Jesus’ teaching—the true righteousness of God. And they have the Holy Spirit—the power of God to do good. However, unless the believer in Jesus actually does good, they will not enter into God’s kingdom and receive his blessings. They may have all the blessings of God on earth, but in the end, they can lose it all.

Those who do not remain with Jesus can lose it all—Jesus said that his true people would abide in him. Those who act hypocritically can lose it all—Jesus said that those who obey him are his true people. Those who deny Jesus before men can lost it all—Jesus said that those who confess will gain reward. Those who oppress the poor can lose it all—for Jesus told his people to assist the poor. Those who carelessly continue in their sin can lose it all—Jesus offers reward to the repentant.

In the end, those who receive the kingdom of God are those who endure. Not just those who make a commitment to Jesus, but those who stick with it and grow in Jesus and continually become more righteous before him. On the final day of judgement, those who will be loved for all eternity are those who do what is righteous by Jesus’ standard, no matter what obstacles get put in the way. God loves all people, but only those who abide in Jesus to the end of their days will gain the kingdom of God and all of the blessings of it.

Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Matthew 7:21

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