As we look closer into God’s love and our love for Him, we find that God gives us a choice. We are not forced to love Him or make Him our Lord and Savior; His Spirit draws us to Himself. Acts 2:21 tells us that we have a love choice to make and that starts with the salvation experience. “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (NASB 1995) The Apostle Peter doesn’t say that God forces us to love Him and call on His name, but he does tell of God’s promise. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord WILL be saved. (emphasis mine) God promises that when we turn to Him, ask Him to be our Lord, Master, and Savior, we WILL be saved. Love is more than an emotion, it’s an action. We choose to love someone and show it in what we do and say. Love isn’t the heart flutter we experience when we fall in love with someone; that is infatuation. Love is exhibited in the things we do for that person we love.
God showed His love to us by offering salvation. It was a sacrifice, it cost Him something. Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows His love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (ESV) Jesus chose to die on the cross for us. The Bible says that He could have called angels down to rescue Him, but He didn’t, He endured the pain and suffering that crucifixion offered. When the soldiers came to get Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter cut off one of the guard’s ears, and Jesus rebuked him and said, “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53 NASB1995) If Jesus had wanted to, He could have called the angels to come and take Him off the cross, but He didn’t. That, my friends, is a deep, abiding love. It’s sacrificial love! It’s a choice to love!
God is a gentleman; He doesn’t barge into our lives. He gently asks us to accept His love. He doesn’t want robots serving Him, He wants people who have hearts that are willing to love Him, willing to be obedient to His Word, willing to sacrifice everything for Him. It is an active choice in our hearts and minds. Will we choose to live for Him, love Him, and serve Him? Or will we turn our hearts and backs away from Him, doing our own thing? The choice is ours.
God’s love is unconditional. He puts no limits on His love for us. He doesn’t say, “I’ll love you if you…”, no, He loves us despite our actions and attitudes. He loves us anyway. Remember Romans 5:8 says? As lost sinners, we didn’t love God, our hearts were against Him! You might say we had no love for Him in our hearts. But He loved us although we had turned away from Him. He wanted a relationship with us. Because we were living in sin, and sin cannot be where God is, He had to devise a reconciliation plan so that we could have that relationship He desired. He chose to love us!
Loving is a choice, a choice not just to love God, but to love others. John 13:35 says, “by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV) When we show love to others, we are exhibiting God’s love that rules and reigns in our hearts. It is that unconditional love, that abounding love of God that is so attractive to others. When we show love to those around us, we are being more Christ-like at that point than at any other time. When we allow His love to shine through us, we are showing them how much He loves them. We choose to show love to them, and thereby they see God’s love exhibited in us. In that way, God draws them to Himself by the way we show His love to them.
He calls us to make a choice. Do you choose to love Him? Do you choose to allow His love to shine in you so that others can see His love and choose to love Him as well? As we search our hearts, He calls us to choose. What choice will you make?