Characteristics of love series
When Jesus died on the cross He wasn’t looking backwards…He was looking straight ahead. Hebrews 12:2 says, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Emphasis my own) We were and are still that joy. He was looking ahead, He knew His purpose on that history making day, He came for us.
I find this extremely comforting when I have flesh out days and lose my temper with my kids. I find it extremely freeing when shame or regret tries to grab ahold of me because Jesus endured the cross and the shame for the joy that was set before Him…me and you.
You see, love looks ahead. It offers new mercies each and every day. In fact, it says in Deuteronomy 30:15, “See! I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction,” which means that each day God sets before us life and death. No matter what we choose He is there and the morning comes and His everlasting patience sets before us life and death again. Now, I am not saying that when we sin there are no consequences, what I am saying is that Jesus paid for our sin…period…it is finished. We look back, hold records of wrong against others and ourselves and wait for the axe to fall.
If we just understood who we are in Him, we would choose life more and more. If we understood that love keeps no record of wrong (1 Corinthians 13 and Psalm 103:12) and it knows the end from the beginning we would live differently. If we understood that God, who IS love, doesn’t love like we mere humans understand it, because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).
Walt Disney once said, “Keep moving forward.” Well, you can’t move forward very well if you keep looking back. Think about this: He sent His son while we were still sinners, knowing full well that not everyone would love Him in return and we get so lost in our past and at times our present. Yet, I believe God in His infinite wisdom looks ahead. Maybe today He wants us to know that He knows there is a better tomorrow, but today we need to know He loves us no matter what. That is life changing. That’s the love I want to know more.
Characteristic of love #5: it looks ahead