STEPS TO CHRIST
Easy English Version
"GOD'S LOVE FOR MAN!"
Nature and the Bible both tell us of God's love. Our Father in heaven gives us life, wisdom, and joy. Look at the wonderful and beautiful things of nature. Think of the many ways the things of nature provide for the needs and happiness of all living things.
The sunshine and rain tell of our Creator's love. We see our Creator's love in the hills, seas, and plains. God provides for the daily needs of every living thing. David wrote of God in the beautiful Psalms:
"All living things look hopefully to You, and You give them food when they need it [food]. You give them enough and satisfy the needs of all" (Psalm 145:15, 16).
God made Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were perfect, holy, and happy. God created the earth beautiful and perfect. Nothing was spoiled or dying. Then Adam and Eve disobeyed God's law-His law of love. Disobedience brought sadness and death. Yet with all the suffering that results from sin, God's love is revealed.
The Bible says that God cursed the ground because of sin. (Read Genesis 3:17.) God permitted thorns and weeds to grow. He let trials and troubles fill people's lives. People now would work and worry. These troubles help lift people out of the corruption sin causes.
But this world is not all sorrow and pain. Nature gives us messages of hope and comfort. Flowers grow on the weeds, and roses cover the thorns.
Every opening flower and blade of grass shows that "God is love." Lovely birds singing their happy songs tell us of God's tender care. Beautiful flowers that sweeten the air and the tall green trees of the forest remind us that God wants to make His children happy.
The Bible shows us God's character. God Himself has told us about His everlasting love and compassion. Moses prayed, "Show [show] me Thy glory." The Lord answered, "I will make all My goodness pass before thee'" (Exodus 33:18, 19, KJV). God's goodness is His glory.
The Lord passed in front of Moses. God said, "'I, the Lord, am a God who is full of compassion and pity, who is not easily angered and who shows great love and faithfulness. I keep My promise for thousands of generations and forgive evil and sin'" (Exodus 34:6, 7). God is "always patient, always kind." God shows us His constant love. (Jonah 4:2. Read Micah 7:18.)
God draws people to Him through many wonderful things in heaven and earth. God speaks through nature. Nature shows that God has deep and tender love for people. But nature and man's love do not perfectly show God's love.
God has given us all proof of His love. But Satan is the enemy of good. Satan does not want us to understand God. Satan wants people to look at God with fear, and to think of God as mean and unforgiving. Satan tries to make people think God is a cruel judge without love. Satan says that the Creator [God] is always watching for people to make mistakes so He can punish them. But Jesus came to live with people to show them that God is love. Jesus wanted people to see God's deep, everlasting love.
The Son of God came from heaven to help people to know the Father better. "'No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is the same as God and is at the Father's side, He has made Him known'" (John 1:18). "'No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal [show] Him'" (Matthew 11:27).
One of Jesus' disciples said, "'Show us the Father.'" Jesus answered, "'For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know Me, Philip? Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. Why then do you say, "Show us the Father"?'" (John 14:8, 9).
Jesus talked about His work on this earth. He said, The Lord "'has chosen Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim [preach] liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed'" (Luke 4:18). This was Jesus' work.
Jesus went about doing good and healing the people Satan made sick. Sometimes Jesus went through villages and healed all the sick people in the villages.
Jesus' work of healing the sick was evidence of His divine anointing. Every act of Jesus' life showed love, mercy, and pity for all people. Jesus' heart had tender love for people.
Jesus became a man so that He could help people. Poor people and humble people were not afraid to come to Jesus. Little children wanted to be near Him. Children loved to climb on Jesus' knees and look into His thoughtful, loving face.
Jesus was not afraid to tell people the truth. But He always spoke with love. He was gentle, kind, and thoughtful to people. He was never rude. Jesus never said unnecessary words that hurt people. He did not scold people for their weaknesses. He told the truth, but always in love.
He spoke against hypocrisy, unbelief, and sin. Jesus' voice was sad when He had to rebuke a person. Jesus had tears in His eyes as He looked at Jerusalem. Jesus loved the city of Jerusalem. The people would not accept Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The people had turned against the Saviour. But He looked at them with tender pity.
Jesus did not live to please Himself. He had thoughtful care for other people. Every person was valuable to Jesus. He looked with tender love on every member of God's family. He saw all persons as sinners who needed Him to save them.
The kind of life Jesus lived shows us His character. Jesus' life also shows us God's character. God's great love comes to the world through His Son, Jesus. Jesus, the tender, loving Saviour, was God, who "appeared in human form [as man]" (1 Timothy 3:16).
Jesus lived and suffered and died to save us. He became a "Man of sorrows" so that we could share His everlasting joy. God let His dear Son leave the glory of heaven and come to a world spoiled by sin. God let Jesus come to this earth, where everything dies.
God let His precious Son [Jesus] leave His [God's] presence and the worship of the angels. God let Jesus suffer shame, hate, and death. But "we are healed by the punishment He [Jesus] suffered, [we are] made whole by the blows [beatings] He received" (Isaiah 53:5).
Think about Jesus in the wilderness, in Gethsemane, and on the cross! Jesus was perfect, but He [Jesus] took our sins on Himself. Jesus had been one with God. But on the cross Jesus felt the terrible separation sin makes between God and people. The pain of separation caused Jesus to cry, "'My God, My God, why did You abandon [leave] Me?'" (Matthew 27:46). The weight of sin broke Jesus' heart.
Jesus did not die to make His Father love us. He did not die to make God willing to save us. No, no! "'God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son'" (John 3:16).
God loved us so much He gave Jesus to die for us. Through Jesus, God gave His everlasting love to a sinful world. "God was making all mankind His friends through Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:19). God suffered with His Son, Jesus. In the agony of Gethsemane and the death on the cross, God paid the price to save us.
Jesus said, "'The Father loves Me because I am willing to give up My life [die], in order that I may receive it [life] back again'" (John 10:17). That is, "My Father has loved you so much that He loves Me more for giving My life [dying] to save you. I [Jesus] died instead of you. I took your sins. I died for you, so now I am closer to My Father than before." Now God can be fair when He saves sinners who believe in Jesus.
Only the Son of God [Jesus] could pay for our sins and save us. Only Jesus, who was one with God, could tell us about God. Only Jesus knew how high and how deep God's love was. Only Jesus' great sacrifice for us could show people how much the Father loves sinners.
"'God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son'"(John 3:16). God gave Jesus to live among people, to take their sins, and to die for them. God gave Jesus to the people of this world. Jesus would know how people felt and what they needed.
Jesus was one with God, but Jesus became one of us. Jesus is God, but He will always be a part of the human race. Jesus is not "ashamed to call them [people] His brothers" (Hebrews 2:11).
Jesus is our Sacrifice. He is our Lawyer and our Brother. He stands in a human body in front of His Father's throne. Jesus will forever be one with the people He has saved. Jesus is the Son of man.
Jesus came to earth and died for us. Now He can lift us from the ruin of sin. Now people can reflect the love of God and share the joy of living a godly life.
Our heavenly Father gave His Son to save us. The Father paid a big price for us. The big price should help us understand what we may become through Christ.
The apostle John knew the greatness of God's love. John wanted to tell the world God's love is wonderful and tender. But John did not know the right words to describe God's love. John said, "See how much the Father has loved us! His [God's] love is so great that we are called God's children" (1 John 3:1). God's love for us makes us very valuable.
We became slaves of Satan when we sinned. But we become God's children through faith in Christ and His death. Christ became a man so that He could help sinners. First we accept Christ. Then through Christ we become worthy of the name "sons of God."
There is no other love the same as God's love. Children of the heavenly King! Precious promise! How wonderful to think about God's great love for a world that did not love Him.
Thinking of God's love makes us feel very humble. God allowed Jesus to die for us. Now we should want a better relationship with God. We should study often about the character of God and Jesus' death on the cross. Studying will help us understand better God's tenderness, mercy, and forgiveness. Then we will understand that God is fair and just. There is much proof of Jesus' everlasting love and compassion. Jesus' deep love for us is much more than the sympathy of a mother for her disobedient child.
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