“A man’s spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God.”
C. S. Lewis
I’m not a very competitive person, except when it comes to playing the daily, “I love you more” game between my husband and me. The rules are simple. The first one to tell the other, “I love you more,” wins! Actually it’s always a win-win scenario. If John beats me to it and loves me more, then what could be more wonderful for a wife to know she is loved by her husband. The other day while alone in a hospital elevator, my husband told me he loved me more. I responded, “Yes, but I love you most!” He was speechless. I had finally found the trump card!
In our relationship with the Lord, it’s obvious who always wins. God does. He hands-down loves us more. He died for us! If only we could get greater revelation of His love for us, our lives would be changed. We would change the world if only the Holy Spirit would give us heart knowledge and not just head knowledge of how great the Father’s love is for us.
My closest friends know I have a ‘thing’ for finding pennies on the ground. It’s a little way God shows His big love for me. I guess it’s God’s personalized way to say, “I love you more, Norma.”
Recently I asked God which people love Him more. He directed me to the parable of the two debtors in Luke 7:36-50. Listen in on verses 41-43: “‘A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed 500 denarii, and the other 50. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him more?’ Simon gave the right answer, ‘The one whom he forgave more.'” Jesus then highlighted the love of the immoral woman who anointed Him with perfume. Jesus says in verse 47, “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Ah, the one who has received the most love is the one who has been forgiven the most. And in turn, they are the ones who love the most.
Further on in Luke chapter 15, Jesus tells the familiar story of the prodigal son. Read verses 11-32 and answer this question. Which of the two sons experienced more of the Father’s love? The younger brother who had let his Dad down, squandered his inheritance and lived a sinful life, was forgiven much, therefore felt more of his father’s love. Brennan Manning says, “The sinful and repentant prodigal son experienced an intimacy and joy with his Father in his brokenness that his sinless self-righteous brother would never know.” The older obedient son had the Father’s love; he just didn’t realize it.
My past sin brings forth the fruit of humility, causing me to not judge others when they sin. My transgressions caused me to fall off my self-constructed pedestal, only to realize the ground is level at the foot of the Cross. My offenses, resulting in God’s forgiveness, reminds me how much more He loves me.
Allow the sin in your life to humble you, to cause you to repent and to receive the Father’s forgiveness. Don’t let it condemn you and take you further away from the Father. Instead, let it overwhelm you with the Father’s love. Let it show you who loves you more. And then allow it to restore your relationship with God and cause you to love Him all the more.
“I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.”