November 02, 2011

A Missionary God

1 John 4:7-16

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son …
1 John 4:10


What is your mental picture of God? Some imagine a kindly grandfather. Others see a severe judge. Our text pictures God as love. He loved us before we were even lovable. Only a God of infinite love would send his eternal Son into this troubled world to die for our sins and to live within us. In the fully human yet fully divine Jesus we know and experience God. “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:7). We don’t get one without the other.

Jesus makes clear that God is a missionary God. As missiologist David Bosch says, “God is a fountain of sending love.” Jesus wants to shape our thoughts about God. “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). “For God so loved the world …” (John 3:16). Is this how you think of God? Is this how you know God? This is the God Jesus invites us to know in a faith relationship with him. And as the sent one, Jesus is inviting us to live as he lived.

Nothing has changed. God is still the same, still on a mission of love. God continues to “so love the world.” By his Spirit our missionary God is at work “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Let him embrace you anew today. Ask him to help you to love others as he does.

God, you love us so much that it nearly takes our breath away. We don’t deserve it. But we thank you. Please open our hearts to love others as you love us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Allen & Lynn Likkel

Revs. Allen and Lynn Likkel have worked in communities across North America for many years—planting churches, nurturing them along, and developing new church leaders. A minister in the Christian Reformed Church, Allen served with Christian Reformed Home Missions for nearly 40 years, and Lynn, also ordained as a minister of the Word, has served to build leaders and new congregations. In November 2010, Allen entered retirement, and the Likkels moved to Washington, their native state. They have four adult children.

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