John R Gavazzoni
Thousand Oaks, CA
Interesting word,"because." How very useful it is to convey the thought that one thing, person, influence or action is the cause of something else. It's a wonderfully primal kind of word in its composition. It joins together the words "be" and "cause" so that we can, in one word, indicate that something is so since something else "be" (is) its "cause." It's a good, solid in-everyone's-vocabulary-type word that enables us to connect any given cause and its effect.
There "be" (is) a cause for everything except, of course, the First Cause, which is God. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, causes God. Tracing any sequence of cause and effect will bring one eventually to God, the Initiator of all things. He initiates an action which "be" (is) the cause of that which follows, and often that, in turn, "be" (is) sequentially the "cause" of something else, and on and on.
God may say that He does something because of something else, but upon careful analysis, we discover that He caused the thing that caused Him to then act a certain way. A perfect picture of that is found, for instance, in God's dealing with Abraham. God approaches Abraham as the Initiator of a relationship with him and causes Abraham---by His word that never returns to Him void---to leave his kindred and country to "look for a city whose builder and maker is God."
In His first approach to the man, He gives him obviously unconditional promises. Later on, as the relationship continues and matures, God says that He will further bless Abraham because he was willing to obey Him in the sacrifice of Isaac. Taken out of context, the relationship and accompanying promises sound very conditional, but we must realize that it was God who brought Abraham to that level of obedience, that level where Abraham shares in God's own pain of arranging for His Son to be killed.
That's what makes Abraham our father; his participation in the self-sacrificing heart our Father God. Abraham entered, by God's causation, the fellowship of God's suffering, where one really comes to know God and where one comes to realize that Love is the First Cause. Behind, and as the Source of Abraham's fatherhood, is the Greater Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory.
Now, with that in mind, let us with sanctified logic, connect some scripture dots as one connects the dots that make up a picture. St. John, in his first epistle, informs us that we love God because He first loved us. God's love "be" (is) the "cause" of us loving Him. If a person loves God it's because God first loved him. It's not that there is merely a correlation between God's loving us and us loving Him, it's cause and effect, pure and simple.
Those whom God loves will, inevitably, love Him in return. It's so simple that many miss it. We love God, ultimately, for one essential reason, because He first loved us. Whoever God loves and ALL WHOM GOD LOVES, will love Him in return, sooner or later, for God causes them to. Now, we connect to the second dot: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
There you have it, God will cause all the inhabitants of the world to love Him because He loves all of us. To make the picture even clearer, let us connect to a third dot, "love never fails." That statement by St. Paul indicates that love is purposeful and will not fail in its purpose.
Clearly, at the heart of the purpose of God is God's desire that we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, not merely because God wants to be loved, but that He, in His love, desires for us to share in what He is---Love. His love manifested is His glory, which we have been promised in Christ.
God's love is not simply an ideal awaiting our appreciation so that we, in turn, will decide to love Him. As Harry Robert Fox would say, God's love is so attractive that it irresistibly draws us to Himself, and draws forth from us the love with which He infuses us. " 'And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (drag) all men to Myself.' But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die." Jesus was lifted up from the earth as God's propitiating love-overture to alienated man. His love, rooted in His Father's love, will break through armor of everyman's hostility. Nothing can stand up against the power of the love of God. Nothing, nothing; not the most evil heart can withstand the onslaught of divine love.
Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
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John R Gavazzoni
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