Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”
2 Corinthians 5:19, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself”
A card beside an empty vase in my hotel room offered this very kind invitation, “For you we have a floral garden with numerous flowers, including zinnias, daisies, meadow sage, and snapdragons. Please enjoy the view and feel free to pick some flowers to put in your room. For further details and floral clippers please call the front desk. Glancing out the window confirmed the presence of a very beautiful and well kept flower garden. Thus, the invitation gave me a choice, wherein I could simply look and appreciate all the hard work of planting and tending the flowers or I could become more than an admiring spectator by picking a bouquet, taking the flowers to my room, and letting it become part of my life. To me, that wonderfully pictures God’s marvelous gift of salvation. The Father planted His garden of reconciliation and redemption, and He invites us to take His Son, Jesus Christ, into our own hearts to find forgiveness and eternal life in Him. You see in Christ Jesus, He “has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Colossians 1:12). Moreover, God’s gift continues each day as He makes known to us (his children) “the riches of the glory of this mystery … which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (v. 27). My friend, God our Creator, has a beautiful gift for each of us in His garden of love, a bouquet that we can enjoy every day.
When you read the Bible, you’re not just reading one book; rather you’re reading a compilation of sixty- six books. I like to think of them as sixty-six love letters from the lover of our soul, our Father in heaven. He isn’t distant and angry as many of the renaissance paintings portrayed Him, but is loving, kind, gentle and the nicest person in the universe. However, over the centuries there have been many misconceptions about God and His true nature. He has been misrepresented to us by legalistic religious leaders and angry earthly fathers who have, by their lifestyles, distorted His true image. The Bible tells us that God is love and He wants to lavish His love on you. He wants to be in a relationship with you, not because you deserve it but just because He made you, and is "head over heels" in love with you. How vividly this is illustrated in the song “Jesus Loves Me” by Anna B. Warner (1824-1915). She and her sister Susan were very gifted novelists. Anna also published many poems. The familiar lines of “Jesus Loves Me” were penned in 1860 as a poem of comfort spoken to a dying child in one of Susan’s stories. Today it’s sung it is sung around the world by children and adults alike. The story has been told of a famous theologian who visited a leading U. S. seminary, a student asked him, “What is the greatest single thought that every crossed your mind?” Expecting a profound theological answer, the class waited breathlessly for his reply. He bowed his head in thought and then slowly lifted his head and said, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” You may ask, “Why is Jesus’ love so important?” It’s important because His love is not some sentimental, easygoing acceptance of sinners. It’s a sacrificial love that pardons us from our guilt and took the burden of our sins when He died on the cross for us (Romans 5:8). Oh, how wonderful to know that we have a loving Father in heaven! Because Jesus died for us, we can be forgiven and personally experience the Father’s love.
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
The cross of Jesus is the supreme evidence of the Love of God.