I was prompted to write this short article(?) in response to one written by Don Beers titled “Minoring in the Majors.”
Don left a comment on an article I wrote (When God confronts the god of your enemies.) He pointed out a few things which I wanted to take him up on but I felt the need to have a feel of the kind of person (or is it writer?) he is before responding.
This is when I came across the article.
In the piece Don spoke of a Pastor who used the phrase “God loved us enough to send His Son to die in our place” during a sermon. Don pointed out the use of the word “enough”. He explained why he felt it was out of place and that it only served to limit God.
My initial reaction was that the Pastor must have used the word unconsciously and that Don was just being a little too harsh on the subject (since it was the only thing he pointed out wrong with the sermon anyway!)
Somehow, I equally almost concluded that I maybe dealing with an individual who enjoys picking out the flaws in others and expanding on them. I actually started looking forward to a rough ride of a debate (without acrimony though) with Don.
This was until I got to the end and read a comment on the article posted by one Thomas Kitrell. Thomas admitted that he occasionally used the phrase in question and promised –despite reading Don’s piece- he would use it again. He made reference to scriptures that say “He so loved” (John 3:16) and no “greater love” (John 15:13) to argue that God is saying there are measurements of love. He further added that he would go on rejoicing knowing God so loved or had enough love.
I must say that I cannot help but agree with Don.
God's love is unlimited and unconditional. There is no way you can measure His love- and, considering the fact that we learnt to love from Him (we never knew what real love was until He came into our lives anyway) we are expected to apply the same immeasurable kind of love.
Coming to think of it, true love cannot be measured. It is either you love someone or you don't, simple! When you start applying limits to this virtue then it is no longer love , what of the remaining percentage- who is it reserved for?
The world says marriage is a 50/50 affair but as Christians we realise it is 100/100.
It is when it is realised that a spouse is only giving a part of all – that something is being held back- that problems set into relationships.
I feel this is the message that God has been trying to put across- this is the kind of love God expects from us- but we are used to loving half-heartedly.
“Well God, I love you enough to give you my tithes and offerings but not enough to give you my entire salary!”
Lord, I love you enough to go to church but not enough to allow a service conducted in my living room.”
“Well God, I love you enough to separate from my father’s house, my country and kindred but not enough to offer my only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice! That is too much LORD” Am I making a point here?
Recently I was instructed by God to leave my job as a journalist, separate from my family- I believe for a season – and go into full time ministry.
Presently I am not salaried, and I have had to rely on the sheer providence of God-I have also been away from my wife and children for over two years- If God had told me at the beginning of it all that He loves me just “enough” to take care when I encounter difficulties, lack and loneliness I do not think I would have taken the step of faith in the first place.
But realising that His love for me knows no boundaries- knowing He is willing to give himself for me over and over again if the need arises -I stepped out.
To further illustrate the point let us look at the opposite of love-hate.
How impressed would you be with someone who says “I hate you enough to feel like slapping you but not enough to want to stab you in the back like the other man did?”
Not much, I suppose (especially if you are actually withering in pain from the back stab!)
I am sure you will agree with me that hatred is hatred and it does not matter how far it prompts a person to go. It is either you hate or you don’t.
Love, to me is just like the air we breathe, the extent to which you have it is determined by how much you can accommodate- not the measure of its availability.
Talking about “love”, “John the Apostle”, and “opening up”, I cannot not help but include this bit of interesting statistics that I figured out while writing this piece.
Love is mentioned 51 times in a total of 42 verses in the gospel books (Matthew to John.) It is found in Mathew 11 times in 10 verses; in Mark six times in four verses and in Luke 12 times in nine verses.
In the gospel of John alone, the word “love” is found 22 times in 19 verses. This is not to mention that from 1 John to 3 John “love” is used 38 times in 28 verses with the three last books only adding up to a total of seven chapters in all!
Including other derivatives of love such as “beloved” and “loved,” it is featured in the book of Matthew 16 times in 14 verses, Mark-10 times in 8 verses and Luke 18 times in 14 verses.
Using the same criteria on love and its derivatives the gospel of John uses "love" 57 times in 39 verses! Likewise, in the seven accumulated chapters of 1 John to 3 the apostle uses it 61 times in 38 verses!
Now considering the fact that Apostle John was the disciple referred to in the bible as he “whom Jesus loved” (definitely meaning him whom He loved most) can we not safely concluded that this is because he opened up more than anyone else to the love of Jesus. Is this point not equally reflected in his writings?
Well, it is in John that we read “For God so love the world…”, “no greater love than this…” , “beloved let us love one another for love is of God and everybody that loveth is born of God and knoweth God….."bla, bla , bla ( I actually caught myself singing as I quoted the last verse!)
In other words what we are saying is that if you want more of God’s love in you life, then you should open up to more of his love. The more you open up to His love the more of his Love that flows in. (Now I am beginning to wonder how many times I have mentioned love in this article?)
The bible tells us that God is love. Love is the essence which he is made up of. If God is limitless then so is His love. I hope I am not making sense to myself alone?
Did I say short article?
I think I should now get back to the “lovely” bone I have to pick with Don.
Pastor, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Angel Branch (MFM Angel)
Unit 2/3 Packington Sq, Packington St, Off Essex Road, N1 7PS, Angel , Islington, London , UK.
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