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posted Jun 13, 2014, 3:39 PM by Mary Tocimak   [ updated Jun 13, 2014, 3:39 PM ]

Before Jesus Christ came into this world, no one every dreamt of sying “God loves.” Some of the Old Testament psalmists had glimpses of that truth and came pretty near expressing it. Once it was a new and almost incredible message, but we have grown accustomed to it, and and it is not strange to us any more. But if we would truly try to think of what it means, the whole truth would flash up into fresh newness and the miseries and sorrows and perplexisites of our lives would drift away. There is no reason for them.

“God loves” is the greatest thing that can be uttered by lips.

When we think or feel anything about a great multitude of people, it is like looking at a forest. We do not see the trees, we see the whole woods. But that is not how God loves the world. He loves all because He loves each. And when we say, “God so loved the world,” we have to break up the mass into its atoms, and to think of each atom as being an object of His love. We all stand out in God’s love just as we should do to one another’s eyes, if we were on the top of a mountain-ridge with a clear sunset sky behind us. Each little black dot of the long procession would be separately visibile. And we all stand out like that, every man of us isolated, and getting as much of the love of God as if there was not another creature in the whole universe by God and ourselves.

Have you ever realized that when we say, “He loved the world,” that really means, as far as each of us is concerned, He loves me? And just as the whole beams of the sun come pouring down into every eye of the crowd that is looking up to it, so the whole love of God pours down, not upon a multitude, an abstraction, a community . . .but upon every single soul that makes up that community. He loves us all because He loves us each.

So then, it was not Christ’s death that turned God from hating and being angry, but it was God’s love that appointed Christ’s death. If you will only remember “God so loved . . . that He gave.” But some people say that when we preach that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that God’s wrath may not fall upon men, our teaching lacks the true meaning. Instead of “Christ came and so God loved,” it is the other way around. “God so loved . . .that He gave.”