Maturity Defined (2 Peter 1:3-7) By Dr. Andy Woods Open your Bibles to 2 Peter…
Our God is Addicted to Our Love
By Dr. Joseph Chambers
It is amazing how much our Heavenly Father reaches for the love of His choice creation. The human family was made in His likeness and the capacity of incredible love was a primary trait. The two most powerful words to describe God and man are “holy” and “love.” His holiness is a “loving holiness” and His love is a “holy love.” We were designed to be characterized by both great abilities combined with God at the center. If we remove God, our love will become hellish.
Look at the homosexual and lesbian world. Try to understand the darkness of a Muslim suicide bomber. Watch a dad or mom leave their loving companion and beautiful children for a fling in a forbidden bed. The dark things done in the name of love are legendary and ugly. Love out of control is nothing but love without purity. It’s love that marks the victim with the marks of death. Bringing a soul back from this brink is often impossible.
This same capacity that is baptized with Jesus Christ will create beautiful saints that bless both God and man. The Son of God taught us about His great love for His Father. Every Christian should read the Book of John with a view of nothing but Christ’s love for the Father. He declared that while He was in the world He was still in the Father’s bosom. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). No man ever spoke greater words than these words. While He was on this earth, He lived every day in the divine sphere of eternity. No wonder He cried as the cross took its toll of death and separation, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).
His death is now our grace to be free from unclean love so we can love like Jesus Christ loved. It must begin by loving the Father like He loved the Father. He never charges us with anything that He does not provide. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). His first commandment to us is to love both His Father and, then, our neighbors.
When we fall head over heels in love with the “Sovereign God (the Father), His Son, and the Holy Ghost,” a transformation occurs deep inside the human spirit. At that moment we have actually returned to the very original reason for which He created us. Loving God is as intrinsic to the spirit of man as God loving man is to the heart of God. Holy love is what we were made to feel and express. It will immediately move beyond our love for God and show up in our love for our loved ones. This is the heart of a great saint and a great church.
Then, a supernatural thing occurs. The unexplainable divine God falls in love with you afresh. The Bible says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” (II Chronicles 16:9a). Enoch was such a man and God became addicted to Enoch’s love, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). The Father took him back to His house for eternity.
Job spoke similar words in the midst of his great despair, “What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? And that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?” (Job 7:17-18). Be careful to discern the depth of these words. Notice the statements that God “shouldest set thine heart upon him” and “that thou shouldest visit him every morning.” This is what the Father did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We must learn that prayer and worship are bound together. When we come to love Him with a passion of loving Him, He will acknowledge the altar where this occurs and He will begin to meet us there.
Jesus said this in His great pastoral prayer and then He described it even deeper, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). There are so few saints that have become great lovers of God. We are not speaking of giddy love that is all show with little substance. This love has moved beyond fleeting emotions and empty speech. This is love on a sphere that has clouds for its lining and the mountains on which to skip.
Worldly things have lost their hold on the level of love that can say with the Apostle Paul, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10). As I write, He invites us to fall in love with Him so that we allow Him to fall in love with us. He loves everyone with a saving love; but, He can only love the sanctified and set apart with intimate love.