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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Dear Colleagues,

REFLECTING GOD IN THE MARKET PLACE: HIS LOVE (Part 4 of 10) 1

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How do you love the unlovable? In your world of work you daily encounter the politics of self-assertion, manipulation and exploitation. How are you to love people endorsing those values? To help us answer that question, lets take careful look at the love of God and how it must influence our attitudes and actions. When we speak of Gods love, we are not saying that God loves; rather that he is the essence of love. It is his very nature: God is love. (I Jn. 4:8) The common perception of Gods love is that of an amicable weakness; a sort of good natured, sentimental deity who puts up with our indulgences. Not so:

Gods love is uninfluenced. That is, his love is spontaneous, free and uncaused. It is not activated by outside stimulus. It just is. The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you (Deu.. 7:7, 8). Gods love is not motivated by anything lovely in us. That is, he is uninfluenced by our actions. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for usNeither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 5:8; 8:38b, 39) (See Eph. 2:4-7)

Gods love is eternal. Because God is eternal (Neh. 9:5) and God is love, his love for us has existed from all eternity. "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness (Jer. 31:3b). Imagine, God loved us before he called heaven and earth into existence. For endless ages He loved us before we had any being. He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Eph. 1:4, 5).

Gods love is infinite. Everything about God is unbounded, as he fills the heaven and the earth. He knows everything past, present and future. Similarly, his love is without limit and beyond our comprehension. I pray that you may have powerto 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.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him (Eph. 3:17-19 Selected; Psa. 103:11).

Gods love is unchallengeable. A powerful illustration of the fact that Gods love for us is totally unaffected by his foreknowledge of our failings is found in Jesus dealings with the twelve disciples at the last supper in spite of his knowledge their imminent denial of him: Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end He then proceeded to wash their feet. (Jn. 13:1 – NKJV ) (Read Jn. 13:1-17)

Here is the point: You live and work in a world that is a mixture of love and hate, egalitarianism and egotism. Thus you have every human reason to withdraw, become cynical, and even join the masses in their self-serving actions, but not if you profess to be a serious follower of the Lord Jesus. The litmus test of your authenticity as a professed follower of Christ is whether or not you mirror the love of God toward those around you, as did Jesus: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. 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 anotherWe love because he first loved us.  If anyone says, I love God, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother (I Jn. 4:7-11, 19-21).

1 Many key ideas of todays Facts have been drawn from The Attributes of God, by Arthur A. Pink, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, pages 90-95;

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