How Much Do You Love Me?

Love...it's a deep emotion. Sometimes we say it in jest to appease someone. We say it to friends when we feel more than just a casual liking for them, but would we die for them? Spouses say it to eachother out of habit sometimes, parents tell their children, "I love you". Being a parent, I feel this is probably the truest form of love as we know it. Can people really know what it means to have perfect love? God showed us what this kind of love is, He calls it agape' love. There are no boundaries to this love, there are no exceptions and no excuses. Our love tends to wax and wane when someone either pleases us or disappoints us. It's a good thing God doesn't measure His degree of love for us that way. His love never changes even for the child who is disobedient and turns his back on God. Let's look at a man who loved God so much he would do anything.

I want to talk about two parallel loves between two special fathers for their own sons. There was nothing they wouldn't do out of a greater love. What can be greater than the love of a child you might ask? The first love was for God, the second was a love for you and me.

The first father of faith was Abraham. God promised him an inheritance that would out number the stars in the sky. God promised him and his wife Sarah a son to carry on even after they were barren in child bearing years. The promise came true when Sarah was 100, no wonder she laughed at the thought, (Gen 21:6). This was one special kid in history.

"That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply they seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies." Gen.22:17 (KJV)

Even though Isaac was not Abraham's firstborn, he did however represent the heavenly stars that God spoke of. His was the birth of prophecy. The son Abraham had with his slave Hagar was born out of impatience and disobedience to God when Sarah acted out before God's will. This son represents the fleshly inheritance of the sands of the earth. God still honored this son and blessed him with inheritance of a nation. It was Isaac who God had His eyes on. His inheritance was the stars in the heavens that God spoke of. When God speaks of something it always comes to pass. As a result of disobedience to God, Sarah soon learned that if she had just been patient, she would not have created a situation between Abraham and Hagar.

But as time passed, Isaac grew and was considered his father's only son. God came to Abraham and tempted him (Gen. 22:1) and told him to take his "only" son whom he loved and offer him as a burnt offering.

Honestly, how could we even fathom such a request? Do you think you would've responded a bit differently to this commandment? How could God ask such a thing of anyone in the first place? Our response to that would most likely be "No, I won't do it". That's because we are of little faith.

But, Abraham was so faithful to God that he obeyed this command and saddled up his donkey, two other companions and his son Isaac and set out for a three day journey. On the third day Abraham saw the place where he was to sacrifice Isaac. (Have you ever noticed how God does things in sets of three's?) As he saw it, he told the two young men to wait there because he and Isaac were going to worship and would return. (Gen.22:5) I wonder if he knew he would return with Isaac unharmed at this point.

We all know how the story ends. Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac and Isaac asked where the lamb was. Abraham told him that God would supply the sacrificial lamb. True to His Word, God gave Abraham His lamb to sacrifice and spare Isaac's life. But because Abraham was faithful, God kept His promise of making Abraham the father of nations, both in heaven and on earth.

The next time we see this kind of sacrificial love is when God's only son Jesus comes to the cross. God already knew the pain that Abraham would have endured had he killed his only son, therefore He rewarded him with the foreshadowing of His own sacrificial lamb, Christ.

We know that Christ was the apple of God's eye. He was His Father's precious and only Son. Just as Abraham loved God, God loves and still loves us enough to sacrifice His only begotten Son in order that we would have eternal life with Him in heaven.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever should believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (Amplified)

Unlike Abraham, God actually had to experience the heartwrenching agony of seeing His Son tortured and hung on the cross at Calvary. Even He would not put Abraham through such an agonizing experience. God doesn't ask any more of any of us than what He knows we can handle. The only thing He asks that we put to death is our carnal life.

If you think that God doesn't care about you or that you don't care about Him, stop and think of the agape love that He showed when His Son hung with outstretched arms upon that wooden cross. This is the vision of how deep and how wide the love of our Father is when He says, "I love you this much".

If you haven't already given your life to Christ as a thank you for saving yours, perhaps now would be a perfect time. Unless you know of your salvation without a shadow of a doubt, then it's time to stop asking questions and look for the answers that will save your life. Christ is the only way. The strongest bridge ever built was made with 2 pieces of wood and 3 nails. Are you ready to cross over it?

Remember, Christ is always waiting at your door and will come into your life when you invite Him in. Thank God for His agape love today. One size fits all.

Vivian Gordon a follower of Christ and called into the teaching ministry and also a prayer warrior to pray for health and wholeness of body, mind and spirit to those who don't know what they should pray for.

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