Problems come in all shapes and sizes.
At the root however, most problems look alike. We are thinking of God as smaller than He is and ourselves as bigger than we are.
It is just so tempting!
If God’s not God in our minds and hearts, we can’t get anything right. And if the God we are worshiping isn’t far superior to us, we aren’t really worshiping the one true God.
Take the way He loves as just one example.
Just think about how much better His love for us is in comparison to our love for Him.*
1.) Our ability to love God comes from God. In other words, we would not love God if He had not first loved us and actually given us a willingness and desire to love Him. He has to create the ability to love and then teach us how to love Him. His love for us comes from Himself. No one needs to make God able to love us and no one needs to tell Him how to love us. He just loves.
2.) We love God because God is lovely. God doesn’t love us because of something excellent in us. We have so marred the image of God through our sin and rebellion there is nothing lovely in us apart from God.
3.) God is worthy of much more love than we can give Him. We can’t even come close to deserving all the love that God gives to us. He is beautiful and the sight of God draws us to love Him. If God looked at us by ourselves, He would see sin and shame, and in order to love us, He has to look beyond our sin and rebellion and simply love us as an expression of His mercy and grace.
4.) We love God because He showed love to us. He loves us even though all we showed was hatred towards Him.
5.) Our love for God is going to result in eternal rewards. We have good reasons to love God. We can expect that He is going to give the crown of life to those who love Him, that He will work all things for good for those who love Him. But God loves us without any expectation of us benefiting Him in any way. How could we really when we have nothing God needs?
6.) When we love God it’s because we see God as the source of our happiness and as our chief good. We know that God’s the only one who can truly and fully satisfy us. To reverse this would be heresy. God does not love us because we are somehow His chief good! God is God’s chief good! As Jonathan Edwards has written, “God loves us without any expectation of anything from us to reward Him for He cannot be rewarded, being infinitely happy in Himself.”
*Thoughts drawn from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards, “God is a Being Possessed of the Most Absolutely Perfect Happiness.“