Frederick Lehman wrote a song entitled “The Love of God” in 1917. Borrowing from a Jewish poem and adding his own thoughts he wrote 3 verses and a chorus. For years, choirs and congregations have sung this as a praise to God Himself. I have included a portion of the song below:
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.
The Love of God is rich and pure. The love of God is measureless and strong. Probably the most well-known verse in all of scripture and Christendom is John 3:16. “For God so LOVED the world that He Gave His One and Only Son that whoever would believe in Him would not die but have eternal life.” I have preached using this verse as a text several times. Each time I come to it I am reminded of how much God loves me.
During the night Jesus was approached by a teacher of the law called a Pharisee. His coming at night is significant because it represented the secrecy he wanted while having this discussion. Jesus did not condemn him but engaged him in conversation. Nicodemus acknowledged his belief that Jesus had come from God because no one could do the miracles without God’s power. He struggled with the claims Jesus had made about Himself and the need in our lives for faith and trust that establishes a relationship with God more than a religion about God. Jesus does not dismiss him. The love of God through Jesus is evident in that He engaged in a conversation and let the Spirit of God direct as was best. Too often I believe that we too quickly assume a person’s stance without actually listening to them. We must listen to what is being said, clarify what we heard and then ask good questions. It was during the conversation with Nicodemus that our most beloved verse is given. Nicodemus was asking questions. He sought for answers. Jesus models for us the act of listening, engaging, and answering the questions of those who come to us. Jesus calmly answered the questions and led Nicodemus to see a spiritual need.
How do we do this? How do we help someone see a need and turn their life over to God? What do we do? Here are a few tips:
- Initiate a conversation about anything of common interest.
- Relate with the person and develop trust.
- Communicate the love of God through actions and words.
- Listen to them and ask good questions.
- Elevate to Jesus and ask about making a faith decision.