Pastoral Perspectives

The Love of Christ

I am amazed at the love of Christ. Jesus left His glory in heaven and put on flesh to be one of us to identify Himself with us. In Hebrews 4:15 ESV, the Word of God says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Such great love He has demonstrated for us. He sympathises with us, knowing that we are weak human beings who need His help and intervention. In Romans 5:8 ESV, the Word of God also says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” How can it be that the God of creation, the God of the entire universe, would die for me! I think of myself as being unworthy of His love but God thought of me as being worthy. God went to the extent of allowing His beloved Son Jesus Christ to be crucified on that cruel cross for my sins and shame and also for yours. Jesus took the punishment of all my sins on that cross. His love for you and me is immense. No words could adequately describe the love of God. The greatness of God’s love for us is beyond comparison and really, beyond comprehension. His love has changed my complete outlook of life and transformed me from a nobody to a somebody in Christ and for His glory!

The love of Christ constrains (or “compels” in NIV & “controls” in ESV) me to share with others the greatness of His salvation plan for the whole human race! That was the main reason for me to be involved in the recent Celebration of Hope at the National Stadium. I saw that others who have yet to know Christ Jesus can discover the true and living hope found in the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus, who sacrificially laid down His precious life to redeem us and reconcile us to His Heavenly Father. There is no other hope except in and through Him alone! He offered His life so that the lives of people are enriched! This can be abbreviated in this acronym, “H. O. P. E. “, that is, “He Offered; People Enriched!” In 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 KJV, the Word of God says, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:  And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” Having loved by Christ, we should reciprocate His love! We should no longer live for ourselves but for Him alone. He should not contain this love to ourselves but explode it out to others. We should be overflowed with the love of Christ, reaching out to the lost! We should courageously and confidently testify of His great love for us and to us. I am reminded of Romans 5:5 which states that “hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” We can and are capable of sharing this powerful love of Christ with others through the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our testimonies and lives.

I am reminded once again of another verse, 1 John 3:1 ESV, which says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” Such joy and privilege that we have, through the love of God and of Christ, we are called “Children of God.” Since we are God’s children, we should not take this for granted but seek to live as His beloved children, yearning to know and love Him more and then readily and wholeheartedly obey what He instructs and directs us.

Having discovered and experienced the love of Christ, what is required of you and me? Let me share 4 possible ways: i) Listen, ii) Offer, iii) Value and iv) Enjoy. They are actually the acronym, “L.O.V.E.” Listen: When you listen to others attentively, you are showing love to them. Offer: When you offer to help others willingly, you are being hospitable to them. Value: When you value the ideas, the opinions and the suggestions of others, you are accepting and appreciating them for who and what they really are. Enjoy: When you enjoy the company, the friendship and the companionship of others, you are telling them that they are loved and cared for by you.

In conclusion, I would like to post 2 questions for your consideration of applications: firstly, “How has the love of Christ impacted you?” and secondly, “What shall you do with the love of Christ which you have encountered and experienced?”

Preacher George Ang

June 2, 2019