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THE SACRIFICIAL LOVE OF GOD
Frederick Leman wrote these beautiful words in his hymn: “The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell; it goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell” (The Love of God). The love of God is something we experience every day, but I would dare to say it is something we very rarely give it the depth of thought we should. However, in reality, it ought to control our lives every day.
This is far too rich of a topic to cover in one simple letter, but I wanted to share a few thoughts with you. Scripture tells us in John 3:16 that Jesus came to earth was because of the love of God. God didn’t just love us in word, but He put His love into action. The Apostle John also writes in 1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” God loved us!
This was the thought that captivated me as I recently watched the movie Ben Hur.
I have watched this movie many times, yet this year, I was struck a little differently. While I recognize that this is just a man-made, fictionalized version of the event, as I watched the crucifixion scene the thought hit me, He did that for me. It overwhelmed me and I began to sob. Oh, that God would love me that much. He left heaven and became a man and suffered the most hateful death for me, Hal Pope. But, not for me only but for everyone who had lived and everyone who will live.
Christ’s death was not done for a good Hal Pope. He did it because Hal Pope was a sinner. I had a sin nature along with the rest of mankind. The Bible tells us that “All have sinned.” This sin nature has to be taken care of by the death of a sacrifice. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” What love!
And what must our response be? Christ taught us that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord our God with everything within us. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). How can we do anything other than let his love rule our lives?
This story of sacrificial love must be told to the entire world. I am so thankful for the missionaries God has called to go and tell this good news. Please remember to pray for your missionaries today.
Hal S. Pope
IFM Executive Director
“...he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6
COVID-19 & IFM
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