Saturday Sermon: Love of God is rich, pure
By Gerald Wheeler
Feb. 17, 2012 at midnight
Updated Feb. 16, 2012 at 8:17 p.m.
God's love is what makes the world survive. God's love does not hinge on yours. The abundance of your love does not increase his.
Your goodness does not enhance his love, nor does your weakness dilute it. What Moses said to Israel is what God says to us.
It was simply because the Lord loves you (Deuteronomy 7). God loves you simply because he has chosen to do so. He loves you when you don't feel lovely. He loves you when no one else loves you. Others may abandon you, divorce you.
He will always love you, no matter what. This is his sentiment. I'll call nobody's and make them somebody's. I'll call the unloved and make them beloved (Romans 9). This is his promise. I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love, I have drawn you to myself.
Our love depends on the receiver of the love. Let a thousand pass before us, and we will not feel the same about each. Our love will be regulated by their appearance, by their personalities, even when we find a few people we like, our feeling will fluctuate.
How they treat us will affect how we love them. The receiver regulates our love. Not so with the love of God. We have no thermostatic impact on his love for us. The love of God is born from within him, not from what he finds in us. His love is uncaused and spontaneous.
As Charles Wesley said, "He hath loved us because that is God." Does he love us because of our goodness? Because of our kindness? Because of our great faith? No, he loves us because of his goodness, kindness and great faith."
You have a deep aquifer of love from which to draw. When you find it hard to love, then you need to drink. Drink deeply, drink daily, don't forget love is a fruit. Step into the orchard of God's work. And what are the first fruits? Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5). Love is a fruit, a fruit of whom? Of your hard work, of your deep faith, of your rigorous resolve. No, love is a fruit of the spirit of God. So continue your love for your fellow man, and the world will be a better place. Accept God's love and his guidance for a greater world to live in.
Gerald Wheeler is a lay minister at John Wesley Methodist Church.