God's Love for Us
Love is the dominant characteristic of God. Some of the most beautiful and telling words in the Bible are: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7 NIV).
God truly values each one of us and knows us intimately, as Jesus explained when he said: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29 NIV)
The Bible records time and time again God’s great desire for a relationship with people. He even sent Jesus to show how human life can be shaped when it is fully in accord with his love; but people don’t listen. Hatred in the world arises from man going his own selfish way and moving out of the sphere of God’s love. We think we can manage on our own without help; but we all need to be loved and protected. In accepting and understanding the depth of God’s love for us, we can then give love in return. What an amazing feeling it is to realize that someone gave up their own life in order that we might live. As the Bible says: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another”. (1 John 4 : 9 – 11 NIV) Surely the death of His son Jesus is God’s despairing appeal to convince us all of his love and desire for a relationship with us.
The display panel in this zone shows the climax of where and what God is leading us to – that wonderful time when Jesus returns. But how can we experience God’s love now, when we are still subjected to the many problems of life? Paul the apostle, who faced so many hardships, said this “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4 : 8 & 9 NIV)
The knowledge that, despite all our shortcomings, God knows and loves us, can help us to cope with the problems we meet in our own lives and gives us hope for the future when God will restore all creation to its original perfection.
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