Thursday, June 3, 2010

Unprompted Love

These days, I am thrilling in the love of God that came to us without our prompting.  What I mean by that is that God's love is not like our love, and that is what makes it amazing. See - the love that we are familiar with on this earth is love that sees something in someone and responds to it.  God's love is not like this.

Don't think you understand this easily - think through it.  I began to love Amy twenty years ago because I saw in her things I admired and was attracted to.  She was beautiful.  She was very smart.  She was kind, etc.  SEE?  My love was a response to things I had seen in her.

Now, God's love is not like this at all.  Stop and consider that He CHOSE to love you, despite NOT being attracted to you.  In fact, He is repulsed by His rebellious creation.  He was repulsed by your sin, your disobedience, your attempts at self righteousness.  This is how He found you when He came to you and loved you.  When He called you to be saved, He called you because He decided to, not because He saw anything that He liked in you.  This is why the wind of salvation is impossible to predict.  People of any status, condition, class, etc. are perfect candidates to be saved.  God is not a respecter of persons because the love of salvation comes from His side totally.

I think you probably agree with me on the surface, but don't realize that some of the things we say in evangelism conflict with this.  We (general Christianity) refer to people "seeking" for God.  WHAT?!?  This is certainly different than what my Bible says.  God found us running away from Him.  This is why His love is so amazing.  It is generated from His side.  If you find a "seeker", it is only because God's love is calling them.  He is turning them around when they are running from Him.  Amazing love.  If this really sinks in, you will have a "precarious moment" when you realize that you should not be saved - there is no reason you generated for God to save you.  If you get this, it will take your breath, your chest will tighten and you will realize how close you came to hell.  You will say with the old Hymn writer, "Lord, why was I a guest?"

If we understand this Biblically, things like "feeling like God is far away" doesn't make sense anymore.  If He initiated His love toward you in eternal salvation, the constancy of love is sustained by Him, not you.  If He decided to love you as an enemy, He much more continues to love you through your Christian struggles and failures.  He sustains the love, not you.  Not your performance.

Lately, I am thrilling in the unprompted love of God.


  1. Wow! GOD is Awesome...An awesome man!

  2. Hi Pastor Tobe,

    I am also amazed at how, through the Holy Spirit and God's grace, we are enabled, however imperfectly, to love God back in return. Grace enables us to enter into the very life of the Holy Trinity, which always involves the exchange of love between persons. The exchange of love between the Father and Son, of course, is the Holy Spirit!

    In Him who loved us first,

  3. Thanks for commenting DBS. I'm not sure what you mean by the Holy Spirit "is" the exchange of love. The Holy Spirit is a single person of the Trinity, not a force, emotion, etc.

    Keep studying the Word!


  4. Hi Pastor Tobe,

    Good point - the Holy Spirit is certainly a divine person separate from the Father and Son, the mystery of the trinity being that God is three persons sharing one divine nature. One God - three persons.

    By "exchange," I had in mind the idea of procession, though perhaps "exchange" is not the best term. (This is why it took the early church over 300 years to hash out a precise understanding of the Trinity!) The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and Son is worshiped and glorified. I used "exchange" with this context in mind, amazed at the fact that the love exchanged between the Father and Son is so real that it is a He, a separate divine person.

    It is awesome that God wants to draw us into that very "exchange" that is nature of God as the Holy Trinity. Before his ascension, Jesus blew the Holy Spirit into the early church, and along with it His love and authority, saying "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." (John 20:22-23). Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus draws his bride, the church, into his divine life, so that we become "partakers of the divine nature." In turn, Christ continues to minister to the world through his mystical body, forgiving their sins and communing with those who call upon his name.

    The Gospel message is mind-blowing - how great is our God, who, infinite in holiness, loves us so greatly as to call us his children!

    In Him,

  5. **Readers should be aware that "Ready"(aka DBS) is commenting from a Catholic position. His mention of "continues to minister to the world through his mystical body, forgiving..." is speaking of the re-offering of Christ at the Mass and does not agree with the "once for all" offering of Christ.

    Heb 10:10-14 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Catholic Doctrine will not rest in the sufficiency of the "one offering" though they try to argue that the Mass is not a new offering, but an "ever present" offering. They make a logical case, the problem is that it not the case of Scripture and adds to the sufficient one time offering of Christ at Calvary. No other salvation offering is possible.

    siting from the Catechism on the Eucharist - **note how it is stated that it is "one single sacrifice" - the Catholic church believes the Eucharist is part of the offering of Christ on Calvary. They are participating in Calvary by the Mass. This is Heresy.

    1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

    [Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper "on the night when he was betrayed," [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.187
    1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory."188

  6. Hi Pastor Tobe,

    Your readers can find a response at my blog.

    Here are the final two paragraphs of that response:

    I'm uncertain how the above points could be considered Heresy, since they are straight out of the Bible and align perfectly with the teaching of the early church. The difficulty that you seem to have is the idea of Christ's sacrifice has an eternal dimension. No one denies that Christ's sacrifice had a once for all (time) component on Calvary. Christ will never have to endure a bloody sacrifice on the cross for our salvation ever again. However, your denial that this sacrifice has a once for all (eternity) component that Christians enter into during their worship seems contrary to Scripture and to the teachings of the early church, at least as I read them.

    Can you point out anyone in the first five hundred years of Christianity that denies the Catholic understanding of the Mass and the Eucharist? Readers can begin their own investigation here:

    Yours in Christ,