God’s Pursuit of Mankind
From the dawn of creation, God has desired to have a relationship with mankind. We read of God walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day desiring to fellowship and be in communion with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8-9). While the Bible is a history book and a book of theology, it is chiefly a record of God’s desire and pursuit of a relationship of love with humanity.
Sin Breaks the Connection with God
God created the human race and His greatest desire is to be connected with His creation – not by force or coercion, but by love. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and their sin separated them from the close communion that they had previously experienced. Sin always breaks the connection between man and God. However, God was not content to leave us separated by sin and unrighteousness, sentenced to death.
God Sent His Son to Reconcile Us
God loved us so much that He sent His only Son to earth to die for us that we might be saved (John 3:16). He was motivated by love and God’s love is still a reality for us today. “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jeremiah 31:3).
God’s Dealings Are Always Motivated by Love
“God is love” (1 John 4:8) and that is the basis of all His dealings with mankind. Some may see God as a hard taskmaster – demanding and difficult to please. This picture of God is from Satan. God is a God of love who cares about everything that touches our lives. He is reaching out in love to every individual no matter what his or her condition. We are unworthy of God’s great love and have done nothing to earn or deserve it. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Love Returned Is Love Complete
Love is incomplete when it is not returned. God loves us, but that relationship is not complete until we love Him unreservedly with all of our heart. A lawyer asked Jesus, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:36-38). All other doctrines are in vain unless based on this first and greatest commandment. Many people serve God out of fear or devotion to a church or theology. There is a deeper, richer experience to be found in a relationship of love. An experience of love brings true fulfillment because the relationship is complete. This is the source of true peace and joy in serving God.
True Love Is Never Achieved by Force
Once there was a man who would chain his wife in the kitchen every day when he would leave for work. He was afraid she would leave him and not come back. Their relationship was one of fear and bondage. How much better for a husband to leave for work with the knowledge that his wife would be there when he returned because she loved him. That is the relationship that God desires–a relationship where someone is not forced to live righteously but where one lives righteously because of a heart of love. It is the power of love of that constrains true children of God to live righteously (2 Cor. 5:14).
Our Love Is Shown Through Obedience
Many people draw nigh to God with their mouth and honor Him with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him (Matthew 15:8). True love is not demonstrated by the words that we speak but by the conduct of our life. Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words” (John 14:23). This is the true manifestation of love in a world where many profess Christ but few are obedient to the Word of God. Where there is a lack of obedience, there is a lack of love. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:35) except for our own disobedience (John 14:23-24).
There Is Only Room For One “First Love”
“No man can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). There is no room in a relationship with God to follow the sinful way of the world and God Himself. If someone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15-17).
Love Brings Sacrifice
When two people truly love each other, they are willing to sacrifice time and energy to be together. Their desire is to please the other. This is true of a heart relationship with God. Love brings voluntary worship and service to God. Obedience is no longer a chore but an expression of our love. Love brings happiness, satisfaction, and strength in service to the Lord.
He That Loves God Also Loves His Brother
When people enter into an experience of God’s love, His love is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost (Romans 5:5). That relationship is shown not only in obedience to God but in the love that is shown to the brethren. For if a man love not his brother, the love of God is not in Him (1 John 4:20-21).
Perfect Love Assures Us of Eternal Life
Not only does a love relationship with God bring peace and joy in this life, it assures us of eternal life. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
God’s Greatest Desire Is a Relationship with You
God’s greatest desire is for you to enter into a close relationship and friendship with Him. God wants to be an integral part of your life. He desires for you to spend time with Him and to communicate with Him. There is wonderful, personal fellowship to be found in this kind of relationship. A relationship with God, where love is the foundation, will give your life real meaning and purpose.