One of the most astonishing things that is conveyed in the Bible about God’s love is that it is better than life. Think about that: the experience of God’s love is better than life itself. In old movies, the robber would threaten with these words, “Your money or your life.” Of course, the victim would hand over his or her money because nothing is more valuable than life. Scripture tells us that God’s love is better than life itself.
Many times when I tell people about God’s love, I get the impression that they view it as something nice but powerless. The fact is that – if we believe the Bible – the experience of God’s love is the only thing that can truly change us from the inside out. In Ephesians 3 the Apostle Paul writes about his prayer for the believers in Ephesus. He says that he prays that they would “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:18-19).
Ponder that. He prays, not for their health or holiness, but that they would grasp God’s great love for them! This is his prayer: that they experience God’s love. Then he states that if they know the depths of God’s love they will be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:19). In other words, God’s love will make them more like Jesus. What does that look like? Love. Love for God and love for people. 1 John 4:19 tells us that “we love because He first loved us.” The power and motivation for loving others comes directly from experiencing God’s love.
Jim Danner is pastor of Grace Community Church in Valdosta (GCCValdosta.org)