Published 8:14 am Friday, September 17, 2021
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I am trying to explain to my friend why God’s love is different than how people love. It seems we’ve misused the word love, or perhaps we as a culture have minimized it and drained its true meaning. — L.G.
Dear L.G.: Behind every dealing God has with us is His perfect love. It was love that made Him create us, and it was love that caused Him to send His Son to redeem us. His love pursues us and draws us to Himself, and His love will someday take His children into His presence forever.
As with other aspects of His nature, we have a difficult time fully understanding God’s love. For one thing, the word “love” has come to mean almost anything today. We say we “love” ice cream or the color of a car, or we say we “love” entertainers or celebrities (although we’ve never met them, and never will). But God’s love is far deeper than this. His love is not a passing fancy or superficial emotion; it is a profound and unshakable commitment that seeks what is best for us. Human love may change or fade; God’s love never will. He says to us, “I have loved you with an everlasting love… with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3).
We must not sentimentalize God’s love; it isn’t a warm, fuzzy feeling that ignores sin or shuns judgment. God’s holiness demands that sin be punished — but God’s love has provided the way of redemption through Christ. If it weren’t for God’s love, we would have no hope, in either this life or the life to come. But there is hope, because He loves us!
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)