January 31, 2024

January 31, 2024

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
January 31, 2024

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which of you, if his son asked for bread, will give him stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

Matthew 7:7

I think if you were to ask most people their view of God or who they think God is or what his major attribute is, most people, even unbelievers would say that God is love. But whether they understand what that means, I think most times it is a superficial, sentimental view of God. And because we know that, I think we can back away from God’s love. We know God is holy, we know God is sovereign, and that God is a god of wrath. But no one should talk more about God's love than us. And Christians should be able to tell people what we mean when we say God is love. I do think one of the best things we need to do when we come to prayer is to think who God is and certainly his love should remind us of who he is and a major reason why we should pray. God's love could be likened to Joseph's coat of many colors, there are many different beautiful dimensions of God's love. Let me give seven of them.

1. There's electing love, you could call it selecting love, the selecting love of God. Jesus reminds his disciples in the upper room, “You have not chosen me, but I've chosen you.” And then you have that very explicit Ephesians 1 passage where Paul tells us he chose us before the foundation of the world. That's really a marvelous thought to think about, he chose us before you ever existed, before you were born, before your parents gave you a name, God purposed to save us in love.

2. The yearning love of God or the inviting love of God. Jesus invited sinners, “Come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” The prophet Isaiah, “Come without money, without price.” And you remember Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Why was he weeping over Jerusalem? Well, he was yearning for those sinners to come to him.

3. The seeking love of God. In that parable of three: the lost son, the lost coin and the lost sheep, you have three pictures of God seeking love.

4. In that same parable, you also have the rejoicing love of God, don't you? It's Jesus who's rejoicing. He's the shepherd and he's the woman, he's the father. Jesus is rejoicing, God rejoices, no one rejoices more when a sinner is saved than God and his son, Jesus.

5. The biggest and the most talked about dimension of God's love that we think about is his saving love or his dying love. Remember what Jesus said in the upper room, “Greater love has no man than this, to lay down his life for his friends. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”

6. Another expression of God's love, Jesus mentions this also in the Sermon the Mount, we call it the providential love of God, “Every good gift comes from God.” And Jesus even says the rain that falls and the sun that shines are expressions of God's love for all humanity.

7. But there's one more facet of love. Again, go to the Sermon on the Mount. I think this is the one that Jesus is emphasizing when he talks about, “If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask.” God is a generous God, he's a loving God who loves to give. It's a generous love, a giving love and answered prayer is a manifestation of his love. When he answers our prayers we shouldn't forget these are manifestations of his love for us.

So Brethren, as we come to prayer tonight, let's not forget the love of God even as we pray for ourselves, as we pray for lost sinners, we can pray to a God and even appeal to God's love.