Exactly five hundred years ago today (April 26), a group of theologians met in the quaint medieval town of Heidelberg to dispute 28 theses penned by Martin Luther.
In the final thesis, Luther wrote a beautiful statement about love. Please read his words slowly:
“The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it.
The love of man comes into being through that which is pleasing to it.”
What Luther is saying is that human love is reactive. You love someone because you find them lovely. When I first met my wife, I fell in love with her because I found her to be lovely. Loveliness, however, existed intrinsically in her before I loved her. My love was reactive. As a point of fact, “we love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). You love God and others because you find God and others to be lovely.
But God’s love is completely different from human love. God’s love is not reactive but creative. In other words, God does not love you because He finds you lovely. God loves you because He makes you lovely. In the words of Luther, “Sinners are attractive because they are loved; they are not loved because they are attractive.” So, God’s love is so amazing because His love does not find but creates that which is beautiful to Him.
As you have taken a few moments to read thus far in this blog amidst your busy day, pause for a moment right now to thank God. Christian, He loves you. But, you are not like a bride on her wedding day, who has made yourself lovely. Rather you are like an adulteress in her bed of ugliness. Yet He makes you lovely despite your unloveliness (Hos 1:2; 3:1-3). He loves you because He loves you.
What amazing love!
Pastor Dan Burrus