We love him because He first loved us. This is the motivation for change. The agent of change is the Holy Spirit. I just need to get that out there right away. The Lord has given us both the motive and the means but now we need to provide the do.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 9:9–10 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: And the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of wisdom… fear is only the beginning. It should lead us further on is true wisdom. It should lead us to the love of and for God. Fear is excellent motivation to inspire us to find the way to appease God, that leads us right to the cross and God’s passionate love for His creation.
The problem that I think we have is that our understanding of His love is limited by our understanding of ourselves. We humanize God to much; it is understandable, because we tend to want to bring things into our realm. But in this case we need to get out of our heads and look at the Word and realize that there are some things that without the Spirit we CANNOT understand. The Bible teaches us in 1 Corinthians that only the Spirit of God can understand God, and only those with His Spirit can understand spiritual things.Isaiah 64:6–7 (KJV 1900) But we are all as an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are as filthy rags; And we all do fade as a leaf; And our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, That stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: For thou hast hid thy face from us, And hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. When we look at ourselves and we see that we are filthy and that even the good that we do is filthy and YET GOD LOVES US and has provided for US we can begin to understand the motivation to do right.
This week I was listening to some testimonies that so impressed me, they were from a former worldly rocker and a Christian musician. They had both gotten mixed up in the drug scene and became miserable and lost. They were both so humble and powerful in their testimonies. They had each started out in a very different way and yet ended up in utter hopelessness. They found that they were in need of something; they were as the Psalmist says in the “miry clay”. One had deliberately sought out success and women and wine so to speak. He found that everything he thought was going to be great was the exact opposite. He was trapped and hated who he had become. The other, started out in a Christian home and had everything that he needed. He had spiritual parents that never gave up on him even though he strayed. He got into college and thought that he could play with fire and not get burned.
Both these men were deceived. They each recognize this now. When they were in the mess they each prayed a similar prayer, “God if you are out there, I need you” and “God, I am a mess, do whatever you must to bring me back to you”. The heavy metal rocker had walked into a church. It was a church where the worship was genuine. What he saw while strung out on meth was a bunch of people that sincerely loved God and had joy. He realized that they had something he needed. He went home and prayed that prayer. A few weeks later, he had an encounter with Jesus’s love. He came to recognize that Jesus is real and that God loved him even in his meth addiction and even in the mess that he was stuck in.The Christian musician had a similar encounter. God showered His love down on this fallen creature, this distracted believer. He showed this broken man that He loved him in spite of himself.
In both of these instances it was the humble recognition that God loves ME that led them to change and to love passionately the one that loves them!
1 John 3:1–2 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
1 John 4:7–13 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.”