I was reading in my Bible today and I'm reading the crucifixion story in Luke. So I've already read it twice this year and each time it has impacted my heart in a way it hasn't before. My heart aches as I read the heartache and betrayal that the Lord suffered so that I could be saved. It has brought uncontrollable tears to my eyes and I feel what must be a mere whisper of the pain He felt at that time. He was beaten physically and emotionally. He had been manipulated and taken advantage of by many for some time before this. His own disciple had betrayed Him. He'd seen crowds of literally thousands of people who were lost and in need of a Saviour. He'd even asked His Father if maybe this cup could pass from Him, the pain was so much. And now He was hanging on a cross. Taunted and tortured. Slapped and humiliated. Beaten beyond recognition. And then He asks His Heavenly Father to forgive these people. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
I'm speechless before such love. Such love that no man has ever or will ever experience at the hand of any other. Such love that it compels me to serve Him, to forgive others, to live for Him. How can I not? Sure, I can say, "He loves me no matter what I do!" which is true. But am I honoring that love by doing whatever I want no matter what He says about it? Am I showing that I love Him by just saying, "Oh well. I'm not sure and He loves me no matter what sooooo I'lll just do what I think." He not only loved me enough to suffer and die for me but He also loved me enough to write an entire book to help me in each and every decision and question of life. Yes, each one. Because even if He doesn't say, "Thou shalt not" or "Thou shalt" there's a principle somewhere that you can apply to any question you might have. He loves us that much. Such love ought to render a love response. No, it doesn't always with me but it is more and more. His love is more and more before my mind's eye. It more and more affects each decision I make. And I still have oh so far to go. How does His love affect you? And your decisions? Because if it doesn't then you need to find out why. Because His love is worth it.
"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren." I John 3:16
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." I John 5:3