Years ago a computer virus known as “The Love Bug” traveled the globe by e-mail, infecting millions of computers in the span of less than 24 hours. Even those who were considered to be experts in the field of technology and trained in the art of identifying potentially suspect e-mails simply could not resist opening this message bearing the magnetic title, “I love you!”
We are all looking for love. We have been wired to look for love. The challenge for all of us is that we have a tendency to look for it in all the wrong places, as the old country song says. Created by God for God and made in the image of God, we are creatures who crave love. We have been created with a heart-shaped hole in our soul that can only be satisfied when it is filled with the love of our Creator. Nothing smaller than the love of God will do.
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
Here Paul made it clear to the Christians at Ephesus—and to you and me today—that there is no love in the universe that will satisfy like the love of the Almighty. God’s love is fully and absolutely sufficient! The measures that Paul used in his prayer almost surely were intended to point us back to the image of the Temple, which Paul had just referenced in Ephesians 2:21.
- Wide – the breadth of every one of our experiences in both life and death
- Long – the length of our lives from our first breath of life throughout all of eternity
- High – the height of our greatest joys
- Deep – the depth of our greatest sorrows . . . and ultimately death itsel
God’s love, which is expressed to us in the Lord Jesus Christ, is as immeasurable as it is inexhaustible. And as often as we run away from God’s love, as we seek to find love in all the wrong places, God is always in hot pursuit of rebels on the run. God loves us so much that He will not let smaller loves satisfy us and meet us in our place of deepest need. God created us to find meaning, purpose, significance, and satisfaction in Him alone. When our identity is rooted in Him, His love is rescuing us from countless smaller loves that are trying to divide our affections.
When the Bible tells us that God’s love is a “jealous” love, we must not think of Shakespeare’s thoughts in Othello, that jealousy “is the green-eyed monster.” Our understanding of jealousy has dark overtones of the sinful self, rooted in greed. But when applied biblically to our God, we find a love that is zealous about protecting, caring for, and loving what is the object of His affection: His chosen children. And if you have trusted in Christ’s atoning death on your behalf, that includes you!
God will tolerate NO rival. He wants the absolute best for every one of His children, and He demonstrated this truth by sending His beloved Son to die for our sins. In doing so, God declared the one thing that we all desperately want and need to hear:
“Dear child, I LOVE YOU! Yours for eternity, God.”
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!