We've spent the last few weeks exploring the boundless, unbreakable, tender qualities of God's great love. Now, what should our response be? Staff intern Michael Edgar gave us three great ways to respond.
Our first response to God's amazing love ought to be thanksgiving. Jesus himself lived a life of gratitude, continually thanking God. Those healed by Jesus often returned to him in thanks. And Paul frequently begins and ends his letters with gratitude, even in the midst of great suffering. Gratitude ought to permeate every part of our lives as we give thanks in every circumstance because of God's great love.
When we live our lives out of gratitude, obedience to God is the natural result. In John, Jesus says something almost shocking: "if you love me, keep my commands." But Jesus's commands are not burdensome. Jesus calls us to love one another and to love Him, to cast our cares on Him, and to trust Him with our lives. Love for God naturally produces obedience to God's commands -- and what is His command? That we love one another. When we obey God, His love comes full circle in us.
We naturally talk about the things we love. In fact, when we love something enough, it's hard to get us to stop talking about it. We want to share what we love with everyone so that they can experience the joy alongside us. And that's when gratitude and obedience turn into celebration -- a great big party in honor of God's amazing love!
Now that we've reflected on the incredible character of God's love, we can respond in gratitude, obedience, and celebration. But sometimes we have a hard time experiencing or responding to God's love properly. Join us next Sunday as we begin to explore the hindrances to God's love in our lives as we continue in our series, "Shaped by Love."