, Muskogee, OK

February 13, 2013

Fort Faith: God’s perfect love is for all

— By Barrett Vanlandingham

Ahhh, Valentine’s Day! It’s a time when we show special appreciation for our loved ones.

A box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers, dinner or movie, or maybe a special gift are all very thoughtful.

But believe it or not, such impressive acts hardly register on the Richter scale of love in comparison to the most important kind of love, God’s love. Can you even imagine the amount of love our heavenly Father must have for us? He spells it out in scripture over and over again.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)

And although many of the words of prophets like Jeremiah were often meant for a specific time-frame or people, the message often applies to all of those who make God their “Number One.”  

Listen to what else God said to Jeremiah in 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

God uses the same idea in speaking of Christians in the first century. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

In Luke 12:6-7, Jesus reassures His followers that they have no reason to fear anyone who might harm them because of their loyalty to Him. In fact, Jesus reminded them, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

In our culture, people lie about a lot of things. Words are cheap. People will say whatever they think you want to hear, just so they can forged a cheap and shallow relationship that may benefit them financially or otherwise. It may sound like love. But oftentimes it’s a lie. This is in stark contrast to God’s love which is not just words He sent down from on high.

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God’s love is found in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39) and there is no way to the Father except through the Son (John 14:6). If you haven’t been clothed in Christ through baptism (Galatians 3:27), why not be baptized today (Romans 6:3-4)? It’s a gift of love that will last an eternity for those who remain faithful til the end. Have a blessed week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or