Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Our Love for Him
Living in Relationship with Jesus
Terry R. Baughman
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins…. We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:10, 19).
A natural response to God’s incredible display of love is for us to also respond in love. Paul observed that, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Knowing the character of God and feeling the overwhelming love and the spiritual freedom He brings causes us to rejoice in this liberty and celebrate our redemption. Peter spoke about this gift of salvation that Jesus has purchased and our response to Him when he said, “Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8–9). In view of the awesome provision that Jesus Christ has given, how can we but respond to Him in love.
When anyone receives a gift of great value the tendency is to have a greater regard for the giver and to reciprocate with incredible kindness and appreciation. John said, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). How much more should we feel the tenderness of gratefulness toward the One who literally gave His life for our benefit. Our response to His free gift should be one of praise, adoration, and intense feelings of love.
Perhaps this was the feeling experienced by the songwriter, William E. Booth-Clibborn, that penned the words of Down from His Glory, “Oh how I love Him, How I adore Him, my breath my sunshine, my all in all, the great creator became my Savior, and all God’s fulness dwelleth in Him.” The words express an awe of His majesty and proclaim the glory of our Creator coming down to earth to live as a man among us. The verses of the song express wonder for His gift of redemption through the sacrifice of Calvary. How can we but join in with praise to such a magnificent God who has given us the gift of salvation.
God desires relationship with those whom He has created. However, a one-sided relationship is not a relationship, but when there is exchange of conversation and interaction in community then relationship is developed. Not everyone will respond to God’s amazing plan of redemption. Some will reject His advances and ignore His provision. They will never know the beauty of relationship that could have been theirs. Others who respond to Christ’s invitation will find Him to be willing company and a present companion. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
What we have received and experienced can be shared with others as we live in relationship with Christ. It is God’s desire that our relationship with Him be a light to the world of what is possible for every individual. As we live out our faith and model true Christianity in this world, others will be drawn to know His love. Paul instructed, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1–2).
Let us show His love to others as we live in relationship with Jesus Christ!
“Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone” (Romans 5:18 NLT).