Saturday, February 22, 2014

Lost in Translation

And they will go to others and say, "I have sinned, I have perverted what is right, but I did not get what I deserved."

--  Job 33:27

One of the great things about the English language is that a single word can mean so many things to so many people. For instance, let's consider the word LOVE.

We might love playing golf, love watching Crossthe sunset, love ham and cheese sandwiches, and love our children. Each phrase has a distinct meaning. But we all know what the word LOVE means.

Or do we? When it comes to understanding what God's love is all about, the English language falls quite short.

The Good News is that the Bible is full of examples of God's love for us. There's the famous story about the Prodigal Son, where a loving father welcomes back his rebellious--and totally unworthy--child. Or what about the shepherd who searches tirelessly for a single missing sheep? When he finally finds it, he returns it triumphantly to the rest of the flock. There's also the account of a man who sells all his possessions to buy a field. And not just any field, but one holding buried treasure! The land's cost is staggering, but he does whatever it takes to gain the prize.

That's how God loves us. Even though we don't deserve it, He goes to any length to gather you and me into His family. Perhaps the most famous passage in the New Testament (John 3:16) tells us that God loves the world so much that He gave His only Son (Jesus) so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life. God willingly let Jesus suffer and die to pay for all our wrongdoings--past, present and future. We rightfully deserve death because of how we've lived our lives. But God's love offers us joy and happiness if we're only willing to accept it. By living on Earth among everyday people and then dying for our sins, Jesus has already paid the ultimate price.

Yes, the English language fails to fully reveal the meaning and implications of God's love. We can only skim the surface of this vast ocean. But maybe we shouldn't be overly critical. After all, it takes only three simple words from the Book of 1 John to sum up the entire picture:

God is Love.   

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