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How Much Does God Love You?

Posted by Guest Blogger on 3/3/16 7:00 AM

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Image: Marco Basaiti, Call of the Sons of Zebedee. Academia of Venice.

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
—Jeremiah 31:3

Although he had absolutely nothing to gain from it, God wanted to share his very life with man. As a result, he began the process of creation. In the first two chapters of the book of Genesis, we see how the Lord created the heavens and the earth from nothing. He then populated the earth with numerous creatures. The Father's act of generosity culminated with the creation of man.

Why did the Father do this? He did it because he cares about us. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man” (CCC 1).

The Creator is infinitely perfect and doesn’t need anything. It wasn’t loneliness that prompted him to create man. He did it because he wanted to share his life with us, a life that consists of perfect happiness. That’s how loving he is! In fact, Man was created in his own image and likeness and was invited to enter into a personal relationship with him.

Think about that for a minute. It is an astonishing concept. It’s great that man was created and placed in Paradise, but it’s even better that he was invited to know and love his Creator personally. The Father wants to have a relationship with us. He desires it. There is no ulterior motive on his part. And the best news of all is that nothing, not even sin or lack of interest on our part, can ever change his desire to have an intimate relationship with us.


God's Timeless Love

I recommend that you read through Genesis 1 and 2; it’s such a great story. Let’s take a look at one verse that reflects what happened in that initial process of creation: “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Note that the Creator saw creation not just as good but as very good. His plan was that man would have everything he needed and live in a loving relationship with his Creator. What a great and generous plan it was! 

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Try to imagine a world where there are no problems or suffering, a world where we would adore the Father (and others) unconditionally. It would be total happiness, all the time. Adam and Eve were created, had a perfect relationship with the Lord, and had everything they needed.

Unfortunately, they let their own desires get in the way. Their selfishness caused a rift between the Father and man. Their disobedience brought sin and death into the world. Paradise was shattered. Although Adam and Eve’s actions caused major damage, it was not irreparable damage. Because he is all-loving, the Creator would not give up on the relationship with man.

As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, the Father promised to send a Savior (see Genesis 3:15) to repair the damage caused by their disobedience. Even though the Lord was in no way responsible for their sins, he desired to restore the relationship with his creatures. And the damage was so great that it would require an unimaginable “fix.” That “fix” would eventually result in the Father's becoming man!

Image: Paul Green.

 


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As he typically does, the Creator proceeded according to his own schedule. Instead of having the Savior appear immediately, the process took thousands of years to unfold. But the wheels were set in motion, and the story of salvation history began to unfold. As we discussed in the previous chapter, it is impossible for a relationship to develop between parties who do not know one another. While God certainly knew man, fallen man didn’t know him. There was a great deal to be learned about the Creator. The Father would gradually reveal himself to man.

Throughout the Old Testament, we see numerous accounts of the Father's revelation to man. The Lord communicated with Abraham, Moses, and many prophets. He revealed himself in his marvelous works of redemption—saving Noah and his family from the Flood, bringing Israel through the Red Sea, establishing his kingdom under David. As a result, his creatures began to know the Creator.

Despite these eye-opening revelations, however, there was still much to be learned about our Creator. He was saving the best for last. When the time was right, he revealed himself in the fullest way possible: “In many and various ways the Father spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the ages” (Hebrews 1:1–2). In a far superior way to what can be seen each week on Undercover Boss, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). 

Love and Healing

Once again, we turn to that familiar theme: Our Creator loves us so much that he was not willing to let us live apart from him. We would never be abandoned. He still desired to have a personal relationship with his creatures, even though it took his Son to become man, suffer, and die. 

pinkrose_IanSchneider_halfwidth.jpgFortunately, the Father doesn’t love in a human way, but in a divine way. There is nothing we can ever do to make him turn from us. Through Jesus, we are able to share in that relationship to the fullest extent possible. The Son of Man makes it possible for us to know him in an intimate way. “No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known” (John 1:18).

When we encounter Jesus, we encounter the Father. Jesus “is the Father’s one, perfect, and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything” (CCC 65). By entering into a relationship with Jesus, we also enter into a relationship with our heavenly Father. This relationship will not only enable us to know the Father but also transform our earthly life. Furthermore, through Jesus, it will be possible for us to live forever in heaven.

At the heart of this relationship is pure, unconditional love. How can we be sure? While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for all. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But he shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:6–8). 

Jesus wants to be your friend. If you choose to accept his offer, you will enter into the best relationship of your life. For he so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Don’t Forget…

  1. Although God had nothing to gain from it, he wanted to share his very life with man.
  2. As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, Our Savior promised that a Savior would be sent (see Genesis 3:15) to repair the damage caused by their disobedience.
  3. The Father’s care and compassion can be expressed in one word: Jesus.
  4. No one comes to the Father except through Christ.
  5. In Jesus, the Father’s revelation to man is complete. Jesus Says… “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).


 For more of Gary Zimak's thoughts on this topic, check out his book
Find a Real Friend in Jesus: Ten Amazingly Easy Steps.

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Topics: God