Sister Claire recently brought a thoughtful and personal message on the love of God. She noted that, this Godly love was transforming. It can provide for a timid, or self doubting individual a relationship, and sphere of protection, that no other love can provide.
Many of us seek such relationships outside of God. We at times put our trust in the “love” of others that may be (at least in some measure) self-seeking, limiting, or even down right abusive. In fact, some of these “all giving” human loves further limit us, as they thrust us into a dependence which continues to diminish us.
Not so with God. Claire drew her message from the text of Romans 5. It showed the context and the extent of a “love beyond.” Verses 6 trough 8 read in part, ” . . . when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We we not only in that state of timidity and self-doubt but actually powerless to do anything about it. Worse still, we were at odds with God.
He in this “love beyond,” nevertheless demonstrated that love by laying down His vary life for us. This was that first step in transforming us, and an example that there can be strength in “weakness.” His death was not an end, but a beginning. ” . . . we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (verses 2-5).”
He has transformed us. He has freed us. He did not free us from “all” suffering, but rather from the negative consequences of that suffering. He did not remove the external forces which at times make us timid or self-doubting, but rather taught us perseverance. That perseverance developed not a self-serving dependence, but a character of hope. That hope has transformed us into a Spirit-filled people of God.
“God so loved the world,” and yes us timid, sinful, self doubting people within it, “that He sent His one and only Son,” to transform us through that very act of love. It has transformed at least one of my “little sisters” from a timid, bullied, and at times abused girl, into an inspiring “woman of God.” One bold enough to stand before others, and deliver this powerful and moving message.