Love Demonstrated

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ” John 3:16 (NIV)

There are remarkable things said about the love of God in Scripture.  It is said that God’s love is promised in the covenants he makes with his people (Isaiah 55:3), that “his love endures forever” (Psalm 118:1), that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:39).  It is said that God’s love is like the unconditional love of a father (Luke 15:11-32).  The relationship between love and God is so close, it is said that “God is love” (1 John 4:16)—God’s character, his nature is love.

  He has invited us into a love that is beyond assurance–a love that can be trusted and acted upon because it has been and continues to be demonstrated.   

Among all the remarkable things that Scripture teaches us about the love of God, there is none that is more profound than the great truth that God’s love is demonstratedIt is demonstrated in the birth of Jesus Christ:  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…. (Isaiah 9:6).  It is demonstrated in the life of Christ:  God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him (1 John 4:9).  It is demonstrated in the death of Christ:  God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

There is beauty in love that is felt in the heart, love that is spoken aloud, love that is pledged as a commitment, and love that is promised for the future.  However, there is nothing more powerful than love demonstrated.  Love demonstrated becomes more than feelings in the heart, a spoken word, a pledge, or a promise.  Love demonstrated becomes at once all of those aspects of love completely fulfilled and made manifest in action.  Love demonstrated dispels doubt, instills courage, builds trust, overcomes evil, inspires purpose, and motivates perseverance.  And God is the perfect example, and the source, of love demonstrated:  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son… (John 3:16).

The gospel of Jesus Christ knows nothing of a love that is merely assured, as wonderful as assured love is.  The good news of Jesus Christ is that God has demonstrated his love toward us through his Son Jesus.  He has invited us into a love that is beyond assurance—a love that can be trusted and acted upon because it has been and continues to be demonstratedAnd he invites us to love like that: Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV).


Share with a friend…
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Putting it into Practice at FCS:

If the only thing that those who receive our services experience is the demonstrated love of God, then they will have experienced the most important thing.  Demonstrating the love of God to each person we encounter is not just at the core of our mission, it is the core of our mission.  We believe that love demonstrated is the most powerful source of transformation and fulfillment that exists.  We help our Christ-following clients grasp this from their faith perspective.  We also hope those who do not share the Christian perspective will greatly benefit from love demonstrated through our services.

About the author:

Marty Goehring, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and an ordained Cumberland Presbyterian Minister. He is the Director of Formation Counseling Services, an Associate Pastor of Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and an Adjunct Professor at Richmont Graduate University. The three life-long missions that Dr. Goehring pursues with passion are to assist the Spirit-driven process that forms Christ in people’s lives, to support the church in fulfilling its calling to be the primary provider of soul care in the community, and to inspire the church to mobilize its resources for the sake of spreading the gospel wide and taking it deep.