A Love that Cannot be Offended


By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

We have seen that love cannot be quenched yet the love of many grows cold. What was the reason? Many had permitted the pleasures of the world, life’s cares and perplexities and the faults of others or their own faults and sins to distract them from receiving that love that cannot be quenched and actually pushed it out of their memory.

As we are living in these last days, the love of many waxes cold because iniquity abounds and as a consequence, the church that Jesus addresses in Laodicea in Revelation is that they are lukewarm. Their love has grown to that condition of lukewarmness, not hot love anymore.

So it is that in our time in which we live, we need to admire the law giver. This is what will hold us in that love, to see that love and to let it burn within our hearts. We want to spend another beautiful time of worship to admire this law giver, this love giver, another aspect of this awesome God whom we revere. This aspect is connected in the words of Christ when He spoke (in Matthew 24:12) that the love of many grows cold. What is some other material, in the same breathe that He was speaking of?

Matthew 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Did you notice here that as Jesus was speaking, He said: many will be offended and because they are offended, the natural consequence is there will be betrayal, hatred and  all kinds of interactivities that will cause the love to grow cold because they are offended. This is where the seed falls onto the stony ground. There is something that affected these hearers of that seed.

Matthew 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Offended

Do you know what it means? What does it mean to be offended? The dictionary term is: to feel wounded, to be angry, to be filled with resentment or disgusted, outraged. That is what it means to be offended. Wounded feelings, anger, filled with resentment, outraged, disgusted. They will be offended and because they are offended, they lose their love. The love that has its roots in God cannot be offended. Remember 1 John 4:16, God is love. Contemplate that God and understand why it is that love which is God, does not become offended.

God’s character, His nature, is love. How do you actually define that love, that character? There is a statement in the Bible that describes or rather there is a story in the Bible that describes the character of God. It’s there in the Hebrew sanctuary; the mercy seat is part of the Ark of the Covenant which has in it the Ten Commandments. God sits upon His throne, which is typified in the Old Testament as the throne of the law and of love. It’s inseparable.

God’s law is the transcript of his character {RH March 15, 1906, par. 18}

God’s law is the Transcript of His Character

God is love and those Ten Commandments are a transcript of His character. What do the Ten Commandments represent? Love. The Ten Commandments are a transcript of His character which is love. If you want to understand God’s love, it is the Ten Commandments. Something hard to get people’s head around because the Ten Commandments are always looked upon as rules and laws. Yes it is but we interpret it as a legalistic exercise instead of what God really is in those Ten Commandments. We want to understand God’s character, God’s love in the Ten Commandments. Jesus understood. Jesus came here to convey to us God’s character. The lawyer here comes to Him and a lawyer argues in the court. He comes to Jesus and he asks Jesus a question:

Matthew 22:35 Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?

Look at what Jesus answers. Jesus understood the law as the transcript of God’s character:

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him …

What’s the most important part of the law?

Matthew 22:37 …Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

You have two commandments, two arms, and on the end of those two commandments hang what? Ten fingers or Ten Commandments.

Jesus threw a light upon the mind of this lawyer to show him that the Ten Commandments, a transcript of God’s character, are love and now we want to let that light permeate our minds. The first four commandments in Exodus 20 have to do with loving God. The last six have to do with loving our neighbor as ourselves. We need to meditate deeply into these laws into these Ten Commandments so that we may fall in love with Him who has those Ten Commandments transcribed from Him as His character. The psalmist in Psalm 119 meditated upon the Ten Commandments he meditated upon the law. What did he express?

Psalm 119:97 O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day.

I don’t find people finding the Ten Commandments something to fall in love with. In fact, it shudders down people’s spine because the law condemns them. But this man of God meditated and found them something to love. O how love I, you know when somebody says O, what that signifies. How love I thy law’ It is my meditation all the day. Is it really such a wonderful meditation? It is a transcript of God’s character. It is a transcript of His glory which is His love.

When we fully fall in love with His character, what will happen? When you love somebody, when like it is in the world, somebody falls in love, when they fall in love with a person, do they become offended at all about anything that that person is doing? When you fall in love, you see only good, you never become offended. That’s what the psalmist says:

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

I want you to ask yourself the question: Do you become offended? You see things around you, is your peace disturbed? Are you offended at different things in the church? In the family? With your husband? With your wife? What does that tell you? I woke up in the morning and the Lord gave me this: Have a look John, are you offended? Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. What did the Lord tell me? If I become offended I don’t love the law. I must meditate on the law, on that transcript of God’s character, because great peace have they that love thy law. Great peace, there is no internal lack of peace, nothing will offend me.

Either I don’t love the law or I am distracted from meditating upon that law all day, from beholding that glory. Wasn’t that the case in the mercy seat? There was a glory around the throne. It was the glory of God’s character of the Ten Commandments that were within the throne. It was God’s glory.

Apostle Paul described that glory that was in the Ten Commandments given to Moses. When Moses came down from the mountain his face shone and the people had to do what? They had to put a veil on Moses’ face because they were blinded by that brightness. A veil had to be put before the glory of the law. Here is the description.

2 Corinthians 3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

What a beautiful meditation here! When we turn to the Lord, the veil that was needed because it was too bright, will be taken away.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

I want us to take away the veil this morning. I want us to see the glory in the law, the transcript of God’s character. Let us stop to take away the veil from the law, and behold the glory in it. Remember, this is the transcript of God’s character.

God’s Character – The First Four Commandments

The first four Commandments, what do the first four Commandments convey in reference to God’s character? Remember, we are to love God with all our hearts, that’s the first four Commandments. That applies to us, but what about God, who is the actual law giver? Those first four Commandments reveal something about His character. What is there in Him that pertains to those first four Commandments? He first reveals what that means in the first three Commandments. Explore God in His love, in reference to this.

Exodus 20:2 I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

What personality of love is revealed here about Himself applying that law of the first four Commandments in reference to Himself? I am the Lord thy God. I brought you out of the land of Egypt. You are not to have any other gods before me. You are not to take my name in vain. You are not to worship other gods. What is actually shining out of this about God’s personality and character?

Isaiah 45:5 I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else.

What can you feel streaming out of this? Don’t look upon it in terms of our attitude toward God at the moment, look at God’s attitude about Himself. This is a transcript of His character. What is He displaying here? I am to be honored.

Deuteronomy 5:15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and [that] the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

What is God here expressing? Is it not that He has a rightful self-respect? Think about it. Is there anybody else like me? Look what I have done, look at my power, look at my capability. What was He describing about Himself? He had a rightful self-respect. Is that correct? A rightful self-respect. He described His self-respect in that He commanded  not to make any other gods and you do not take my name in vain.  I am to be respected. How foolish of anybody to go along and worship me through images. Who do you think I am? That’s the sort of mental exercise for us to consider. Does God have a healthy self-respect?

Because I have done this, I have asked you to keep the Sabbath. We are to admire Him on the Sabbath. The God that is revealing here His greatness is the One that we are to love.

Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates:

Why?

Exodus 20:11 For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Remember that I brought you out of the land of Egypt by a mighty hand. Remember that I am the Creator. Remember what I have done at creation.

Creation

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made,

Get the picture? God has just been doing a wonderful work. This planet, this jewel of this constellation, this jewel of this planet that He had created, behold, I have done a really good job. Do you ever do that when you do a job and you did it very good, you feel good about yourself don’t you? Is that wrong?

What was the second part? Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy what? Thyself. How can you love your neighbor if you don’t have a healthy self-respect? How can you? That’s the reason why people have so much difficulty, because they don’t respect themselves and they do all sorts of crazy things.

God looked at His creation and He said: Wow, this is beautiful. The proud man would say stop being proud about yourself. But He had a rightful reason for being happy. It was very good and the Sabbath was connected with it.

Genesis 1:31 and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

He had rested, he had stopped to admire. He had stopped to enjoy the work that He had made. Now He made a memorial of His great work. Here is a person who had a healthy self-respect who had made something beautiful and now He made a memorial for us to remember that beautiful thing that He had made that He was the One who made it.

Here He is speaking of His healthy self-respect. He is speaking about how He had dealt with Israel not only now after Egypt but now many years after in the time of Babylon.

Isaiah 48:11 For mine own sake, [even] for mine own sake, will I do [it]: for how should [my name] be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. 12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I [am] he; I [am] the first, I also [am] the last. 13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: [when] I call unto them, they stand up together.

He’s reminding us. Look at my capability. I will have no one else to take it away, I will not give my glory to anyone else, it is my glory. This is rightfully mine and for my sake I do the things that I do. How careful we must be not to misinterpret God. This is simply God having a healthy self-respect. This is what is God’s love. He does love Himself. If you don’t have that knowledge of God, you do not know how He loves His neighbor.

The Lord has given every one of us a sense of self-respect, and this must not be opposed too abruptly. God wants us to respect ourselves. {DG 141.3}

If He made us in His image then the self-respect we should have is the self-respect He has.

It is the privilege of everyone to so live that God will approve and bless him. You may be hourly in communion with Heaven; it is not the will of your heavenly Father that you should ever be under condemnation and darkness. {OHC 143.4}

Follow that: It is not God’s will that you should ever be under condemnation and darkness. Are you listening? If you are under constant condemnation and darkness, how do you feel about yourself?

It is not pleasing to God that you should demerit yourself. You should cultivate self-respect by living so that you will be approved by your own conscience, and before men and angels…. It is your privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame and remorse. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1. While we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought. {OHC 143.4}

Notice here is some important material here. Did God think about Himself more highly than He ought? Not at all. He only highlighted the things that were naturally His rightful possession.

While we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, the Word of God does not condemn a proper self-respect. As sons and daughters of God, we should have a conscious dignity of character, in which pride and self-importance have no part. {OHC 143.4}

Get that balance straight. Pride and self-importance must not come in but we are to have a conscious dignity of character just as it was displayed by God in the first four Commandments. This is God’s character. He says, there is none other. I have created, I have redeemed you, I have done this and that and the other. This is an expression of rightful self-respect.

God’s Love for His Neighbour

It is from that perspective that we look now how He loves His neighbour as Himself. He created man. How did He create man, according to Genesis?

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Stop to think about this. The psalmist thought about this and he just went wow. What did he say? God had made His planet, it was His. He made this planet and He said to His neighbour, the man He created, His neighbour: Now, you take care of this. It’s yours, it’s your dominion.

Psalms 8:1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

David says, oh, this is overwhelming.

Psalms 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels,

A little lower than the angels, what has He done?

Psalms 8:5 …and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all [things] under his feet:

Did God treat His neighbour as Himself? Did He love him as Himself? Can you imagine it if you’ve made something that is really beautiful and you’ve looked upon it and you’ve made a memorial to make sure it’s remembered and then that beautiful thing is given into the hands of your neighbor? Now you look after it. It’s your kingdom. Did He love man as Himself? Obviously. He trusted Him like He would trust His own self to do justice to what He has given him.

He was placed, as God’s representative, over the lower orders of being. {PP 45.1}

God’s representative here on earth. Adam represented God. How?

They cannot understand or acknowledge the sovereignty of God, yet they were made capable of loving and serving man. {PP 45.1}

What did God do? He created these creatures before He created man and He made them capable of not recognizing Him as the creator but recognizing man and loving him. Did God love His neighbour as Himself? See the character of God here?

God’s Character: The Last Six Commandments

Having now demonstrated the self-respect of God and seeing that God indeed loves His neighbour as He loves Himself, look at all the last six Commandments in regards to His character towards His neighbour.

Remember the fifth Commandment. How does that relate to God toward His neighbour?

Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother

What is written about Jesus? He God, became a Son of God. That’s Psalm 2:7. The decree that He made:

Psalms 2:7 … Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

There is the personality of the Father and the Son being exactly the same but One demonstrated the attitude to parental submission. That’s God’s character. His neighbour, His own, one equal to Himself so that as He thought, so His Son thought. This being namely the Word being God, and being with God, that Word became His Son. There is the first demonstration of the fifth Commandment, submission to the other. There it is in that Commandment.

Then comes the sixth Commandment:

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

Does God kill? People have told me: The Old Testament is full of God killing, terrible! Does God kill? Huh? Thou shalt not kill. Is this God’s character? Does He kill?

God destroys no man. {COL 84.4}

We’ve been through this before in our studies. When man is killed, who killed him? Man is destroying himself and mankind destroys each other. Sin destroys itself. That’s what happens. And that’s what will be demonstrated at the very last judgment that God destroys no man. God is a true personality of that Commandment; He loves His neighbour as Himself.

Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Does God have such a love towards the church, that although it commits adultery, He doesn’t? You know the statement very well:

Isaiah 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot!

You read in Ezekiel about the harlotry that is described against Himself and He keeps on putting up with it. He is not going to let go. He does not commit adultery. Here was this vow that He had made to Israel and while they broke it, He didn’t:

Jeremiah 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: 15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Okay, my bride, my wife, you have really lost it. You have really gone out and played a harlot but I’m going to take you back. I’m going to bring you one of a city and two of a family. I’m married to you, don’t forget. No matter what we’ve done. Remember, friendship with the world is enmity with God. It’s written in James.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?

When God’s people are fraternizing with the world, He doesn’t commit adultery, they do. He wants them back. Beautiful character. This is God loving.

Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.

Does God steal? In fact when He sent Jesus to this earth, look at the experience of Jesus in Psalms 69:4. He doesn’t want to steal anything of anybody, it’s His nature. But you know if somebody has got something against Him, what does He say?

Psalms 69:4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, [being] mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored [that] which I took not away.

He did the opposite to stealing. He actually gave to the people something that He never took away from them in the first place. God’s character is transcribed in the Ten Commandments and thou shalt not steal was one of them.

Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

False witness. Did God ever lie? He cannot lie! In fact, the Scripture says: God who cannot lie has made a double covenant, a double promise. He spoke once as a promise, and then He doubled it, with another. He cannot lie!

Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour’s.

Thou shalt not covet! What about that? Did God covet?

Philippians 2:6 … thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation…

Did He covet the position that He was in? No. He made Himself of no reputation. He gave up His position so that He could come close to His neighbour. Huh? The more I meditate on this, I just want to break out and cry. What a God we have. He is full of love! His Ten Commandments are descriptions of His love! This is God’s love for His neighbour. When His neighbour sinned against Him, how did He respond? Remember:

Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

God’s Response to Offense

Did He respond to the sinner as somebody offended? Let’s have a look at Lucifer. Lucifer raised himself against God. And the first thing that God did was show him His love. I want to read it to you. This is one of the most beautiful representations of how Lucifer, Satan himself, was given a loving opportunity. Although he had already gone and sowed the poison against God, God said, Okay, this poor creature of mine, this wonderful being that I created in all his glory, is really benighted. I’ve got to show him something.

To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels. {PP 36.1}

So what did God do?

The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng— {PP 36.2}

Just imagine. He calls this vast, unnumbered throng to gather around His throne and Lucifer is among them.

…ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands (Revelation 5:11.), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. {PP 36.2}

In other words, God revealed to Lucifer and the angels that His Son, by decree, is the One who created them in the first place. As this was brought out in all its glory – remember God had a healthy self-respect:

Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God’s plan, but would exalt the Father’s glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love. {PP 36.2}

The angels joyfully acknowledged the supremacy of Christ, and prostrating themselves before Him, poured out their love and adoration. Lucifer bowed with them, but in his heart there was a strange, fierce conflict. Truth, justice, and loyalty were struggling against envy and jealousy. The influence of the holy angels seemed for a time to carry him with them. As songs of praise ascended in melodious strains, swelled by thousands of glad voices, the spirit of evil seemed vanquished; {PP 36.2}

What’s that? The spirit of evil was being vanquished in his heart. God had reached him by doing this.

unutterable love thrilled his entire being; his soul went out, in harmony with the sinless worshippers, in love to the Father and the Son. {PP 36.3}

There was his opportunity. But when it was all over he didn’t chose to pursue the love that welled up in his heart. He returned to his plan and he became the arch enemy of God. But that’s how God deals with the offending material. He is not offended; He reveals the love that He has. When Adam did that terrible thing the opposite of what God had told him not to eat of that tree, what did God do?  Did he say, I’m never going to talk to that fellow again? Was He outraged? Was He offended? No, in the cool of the evening He came: I want to talk to you. Adam, where are you? He knew what Adam had done! He was not offended! He came to show him, to love him, His neighbour, as Himself. And how did He show it?

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

How was that done? In love, total love. The Gospel of Jesus is God’s response to sin. He does not become offended. Great peace have they that love thy law. Nothing shall offend them. As you look at this, isn’t it amazing? Then Judas comes along. Judas, that disciple, that sneak that was trying to destroy the trust of the disciples, Jesus constantly had to warn him and show him. There he was on the evening that he had already decided to give Christ over to the Pharisees to deceive Jesus there, how did Jesus who knew exactly what he was doing, meet him? Meditate upon the love and the unoffended God. When sin has taken hold of people, He treats His neighbour as Himself.

Though Jesus knew Judas from the beginning, {DA 655.4}

Though He knew him from the beginning…

He washed his feet. And the betrayer was privileged to unite with Christ in partaking of the sacrament. A long-suffering Saviour held out every inducement for the sinner to receive Him, to repent, and to be cleansed from the defilement of sin. This example is for us. When we suppose one to be in error and sin, we are not to divorce ourselves from him. {DA 655.4}

Did you catch that? Did Jesus divorce Himself from Judas? No, He did not.

When we suppose one to be in error and sin, we are not to divorce ourselves from him. By no careless separation are we to leave him a prey to temptation, or drive him upon Satan’s battleground. {DA 655.4}

Say, are you listening? Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them. Have you been sinned against by somebody and you really feel offended? What was that? Outraged, envy, wounded. How many in their wounded state and offended nature will divorce one another, will separate from one another, and drive each other to Satan’s temptations? Jesus didn’t do that. In fact, when He washed Judas’ feet, look at this beautiful statement here, Jesus knew it and here He was.

Jesus alone could read his secret. Yet He did not expose him. Jesus hungered for his soul. He felt for him such a burden as for Jerusalem when He wept over the doomed city. His heart was crying, How can I give thee up? The constraining power of that love was felt by Judas. When the Saviour’s hands were bathing those soiled feet, and wiping them with the towel, the heart of Judas thrilled through and through with the impulse then and there to confess his sin. {DA 645.1}

Same as Lucifer. God Himself may be hurt and grieved by what sinners have done. But, while He is grieved, He is not angry, He is not offended. He understands, and He extends a love to treat others as He would love them to treat Him. Isn’t that the golden rule? To treat others as I would like to be treated. This is what God demonstrated. The whole human race he loved: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. What else could God have done? That’s all He could do. Why are people going to be destroyed? He didn’t destroy them. They will destroy themselves.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

There is another beautiful example in the Hebrews. The Hebrews said:

Exodus 24:7 All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.

What did they do? They broke the Commandments. He said: Okay, okay, I’ll make another Covenant now. I’m going to put my law in your hearts. How did He do that? By bringing Jesus onto the planet to put the law of love, those Ten Commandments into the heart. Don’t you admire Him? Is He not a wonderful God? Is not His law wonderful? Away with the legalistic mentality! The veil is removed as you gaze upon this character. It was never part of God’s nature to be legalistic, never. Instead, when His law of love was broken, His love covered a multitude of sins. Are you prepared to open your heart to that? Here is the message to the Church:

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

A Law of Love

What’s that? Can I do that? I can if I am in love with God’s law. Strange contradictions of terms? The law tells you: You’ve just sinned, you’re going to get punished. No, it’s a law of love: do unto my neighbour, as I would want them to do unto me. It’s the law of love that says: I will love and respect myself enough so that I will treat my sinning brother or sister in the love that God has.

The Love of God

When you have such a love in front of you as we have contemplated here and as the psalmist says: It is my meditation every day, all day. Can anything offend you? Does it permit any offense in you? When things rankle in my heart, I cannot exercise that rankling in my heart, because I look at the love of God for me and I can’t react in a determined offense mentality. Momentarily, yes it happens, it rankles there. But it’s not going to be retained there because I can’t. I look at the love and, how dare I?

What is it to be offended? Wounded feeling, anger, filled with resentment, disgusted, outraged. Did God ever demonstrate that? The law is a transcript of God’s character. He fulfils His part, so all of us, we who may fall in love with that God, with that law, are to do our part, as He did. I don’t need to lay any exactions on anybody around me, none whatsoever. I just kindly do what He did. I treat everybody the way God treats them and when they sin against me, what do I do? I do just what God did and that’s my responsibility. Isn’t that the description of Joseph? He was maligned, he was mistreated, but he always only responded in doing his job right and by doing his job the way that God wanted him to do it, the most disastrous influences of his brothers was recovered. How we have lost sight of a loving God. Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them.

Amen.

Posted on November 10, 2012, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel, The Love of God. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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