“For the love of God!” Ever said this? You probably weren’t thinking about God’s love or your love for God – in fact, maybe you don’t think God is much of a great guy anyway. Who does He think He is, telling me what to do as He lords over the cosmos? What has He ever done for me? What’s so great about God?

Maybe He doesn’t exist. That’s what I was wondering in my early teen years. I began to doubt God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, Heaven, and my own state as a Christian. Did these really exist? Was I a real Christian, or did I just believed these things because my parents did? It was strange: Often when my father, mother, or my sister had other personal troubles, each would not be afraid to talk about the trouble with me. Yet I shut my own agony within myself. Normal activities became escapes from the troubling thoughts, but even these did not always help. A murder mystery could stir up thoughts of death and the fearful unknown behind it. My every joy was dampened, for how could I be happy when my eternity was uncertain?

Yet God rescued me. He instilled in me a drive to investigate the factual foundations for my faith. I read books on the awesome complexity of God’s creation, the scientific foundations of the Genesis Flood, the historical accuracy of Christ’s resurrection, and the prophetic reliability of the Bible. I read about these proofs in the car and while eating lunch. I wrote research papers on their topics. And they became my comfort and joy. No matter how much I reasoned, the huge weight of evidence could not be doubted away. Christianity was not just the religion I happened to be born into; it stood on a foundation of evidence like no other. God’s Word could be trusted like no other word.

But what truly transformed my life was not a defense of Christianity. It was when I realized how great God really is. In April of 2006, I read Knowing God. As I learned about God’s sovereignty and perfect right over all His universe, I wondered in awe at His supreme greatness, righteousness, and glory. He is eternal; I am mortal. He is Creator; I am created. He is Sustainer; I am sustained. He is infinite; I am finite. He is everything; I am nothing.

Then I realized just how much this God had done for me. This great God, who answers to no one, suffered for my sins on the cross of Calvary. The God of infinite worth actually suffered for me. The thought brought tears down my cheeks. Surely my every deed and thought and breath should be devoted to the One who gives me all motion and mind and breath, for is not this my life’s purpose, to glorify God? Then I knew the love of God.

Do you not feel the greatness of God? Is it not strange that many hate God and many love Him? Such a paradoxical attitude towards God results from a fundamental, willful misunderstanding about God – and ourselves. God is very, very holy; we are very, very not. If you believe that holiness, and thus goodness, is not so important to God, then you will never understand why He must judge evil people, including ourselves. If you believe that we are good inside, then you will never understand the depth of the love of God. For God’s love is displayed at its greatest at the height of God’s judgment – on the cross of Calvary. Here God places judgment on Himself to pay the penalty for our evil deeds – death. How can we deserve such a punishment?

Just think – we as human beings are tiny creatures on a planet on the outskirts of a galaxy among a billion galaxies. We are the dust on a mountain, yet we rebel against God our Maker like we were big shots. We go about our lives as if He was nothing. Why didn’t He just wipe away the dust dirtying His pottery work of the cosmos? He had every right as Maker. He has every right to cast justice upon us who lie, cheat, hurt, and hate thousands of times in our lives. We have no excuse: We are guilty of evil countless times. We have become like a poisonous mold infecting a twig on a tree in God’s forest – why shouldn’t we be wiped away to rid the world of evil?

Yet He suffered for this bit of mold on a twig in the forest – He suffered for the cancerous mold that is us! He suffered and died to wipe away our evils and restore us to Himself – how wondrous, how glorious, how Loving! O, I cannot imagine a greater love than the Love of God. When you know just how holy He is and how He had every right to wipe us out in one second, then His mercy and love is made infinitely sweet. I stand in awe of God – I cry at the thought of His cross and its beauty. Praise the Lord! Praise His holy name! We have hardly an idea just how much God LOVES us!

O how God is everything to me. He is Creator, yet He clothed Himself as a creature like me. He is King, yet He became a criminal in place of me. He suffered poverty in life, ridicule in trial, and agony in death, to save me from my own evil. He is my Hero of heroes – for not even a hero dies for his enemies to save them. He didn’t have to suffer anything. But He did.

That’s what God has done for me – that’s why God is so great. And He has done the same for you. Though you may smirk at Him and laugh at Him and use His name as a curse word, He gave His life for you. He is like the President of the United States giving his life for Osama bin Ladin. O how we hate God and wish Him dead – yet He gave His life for us so that we could live.

This is why I worship Him – this is why I adore Him and devote my life to Him. He is my Lover and I am His beloved. Do not look strangely upon me as I love Someone I cannot see, hear, or touch, for His love letters He has handed to me in His perfect Word that has stood the test of time. To revere Him is sweetness and true delight. No other joy on earth can match the magnitude of loving Him. For the love of God, I long. For the love of God, I live. For the love of God is life. It is my battle-cry and my peace, my hope and my love.

For the love of God – love Him back! Make Him the love of your heart as He is the Lover of your soul. There is nothing greater in life than to know, cherish, praise, and love the God of heaven and earth, the God who came down from His throne to love you:

He is the Father, yet He became a babe.
He is Creator, yet He became a man.
He is wealthy, yet He became poor.
He dwells in Heaven, yet He lived on earth.
He is happy, yet He became “a man of sorrows.”
He is good, yet He “became sin for us.”
He is life, yet He met death for us.

We hate Him, yet He loved us. How great He is.