Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 15, 1951

Our God --- A Loving God

Forrest D. Moyer, Tucumcari, New Mexico

We have previously noticed that our God is a living God. A second outstanding characteristic of God is love. Our God is a loving God. John, the apostle of love, wrote: "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us, GOD IS LOVE; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." (1 John 4:16) This scripture teaches plainly the extent of God's love. Only by our reaching heaven can we come to a full realization that our God is a loving God. However, from His wore we can see His love expressed.

Christ, A Manifestation Of God's Love

God's love for man was expressed in Christ. "In thins was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:9-10) "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) But our God has greater love than this for us. Hear Paul on this matter: "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:6-8) It was solely because of God's love that Christ came. Man could never merit his coming. Since God is love, Christ died for our sins. Through Christ's coming to "seek and save that which was lost" and through his death, we are "translated out of the power of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son," thus becoming God's children. And John says, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." (1 John 3:1) Truly, our God is a loving God.

God Hides His People

Showing farther that our God is a God of love, we observe God's dealings with Elijah, His prophet. When Elijah told Ahab that it would not rain but according to his word, Ahab sought his life. Then God said to him, "Go hence and turn eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith that is before Jordan." (1 Kings 17:8) Ahab sought Elijah's life and God hid him. The Psalmist said, "In the time of trouble he shall hide me." (Psalms 27:5) Such was true in the long ago and such is true now. Notice: "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Col. 8:8) The apostle Peter tells us that Christians are "kept by the power of God through faith." (1 Peter 1:5) Elijah willingly obeyed God and God protected him. So long as we believe in and fully obey God; He, being a loving God, will hide and protect us.

God Provides For His People

When Elijah was told to go out of the presence of Ahab, God provided for him. "And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there." (1 Kings 17:4) This proves again that God is a loving Father. Elijah put his sole trust in God and God took care of him. The Lord tells us today, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33)

God Guides His People Every step that Elijah took was by divine direction. "And the word of the Lord came unto him." (1 Kings 17:2) Man is incapable of directing his own steps. "0 Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (Jer. 10:23) Man, being unable to direct his own way, needs a guide. His guide must be a guide of divine origin. Since God is a God of love, He directs through His word. We can say, "Commit thy way unto the Lord and He will direct thy paths." Our God is a loving God in that He hides, guides and provides for His people.

God's Desire For Man's Salvation

Peter tells us that God is "not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) Every person should consider the fact that he is not punished immediately for his sins, not as proof that God does not punish man, but as proof that our God is a loving God. His love commands, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." His mercy pleads, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." His grace saves all who appropriate it by faith and obedience. Yes, love in a superlative degree is manifested by God to man. While man was alienated from God, dead in trespasses and sins, God loved us. While we were seeking our own way of pride and pleasure, the love of God was providing a true way to eternal life.

I close with the words of N. T. Caton. "The highest and grandest exhibition of love ever known, or that can be known in the universe, God manifested to man. While man loved not—while man was an enemy to God—God sent His Son into the world to die for man, that thereby a way might be opened up by which man—the enemy of God—might attain eternal life. Poet's loftiest strains afford but feeble conceptions of the divine love. The voice of description is hushed into eternal silence. Mortals can only hear, learn and adore." (Commentary on First John, page 168)