Hank Williams recorded a Curley Williams song called “Half As Much” in 1951. Hank and Curley were not related. The song is very secular, but in a couple verses, I can hear our Heavenly Father talking to us. (all emphasis mine)
Consider these lyrics:
“If you loved Me half as much as I love you, you wouldn’t worry Me half as much as you do. I know that I would never be this blue, if you only loved Me half as much as I love you.
If you missed Me half as much as I miss you, you wouldn’t stay away half as much as you do. You’re nice to Me when there’s no one else around; you only build Me up to let Me down.”
Now consider the words of God about His relationship with us. John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world [that’s all of us], that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world; but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned; but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” [That is the unforgivable sin.]
Powerful words. The Lord God Jehovah created the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, just by “speaking” them into existence (Genesis 1-2). He has the right to demand that we worship and glorify Him totally and completely, but that would not be a true love. If you look at other “religions,” their god(s) call for complete devotion, and some even call for the death of anyone who will not accept them.
After all our Father has done, and is doing for us, it is impossible to believe we could come close to loving Him “half as much” as He really loves us. For example, besides John 3:16-18, there’s Romans 5:8-9; “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since therefore, we have now been justified by His blood [that He willingly shed for us John 10:18], much more shall we be saved by Him from the Wrath of God.”
This says that in spite of our best efforts, God loves us anyway. We can love Him with our whole Heart, Mind and Soul, and it still would not measure up to how much He loves us.
Our country was formed with several “freedoms” as part of our citizenship here. One is “Freedom OF Religion.” Notice it does not say “from” Religion as the radical left would have you to believe, but “of” Religion. However, our basic Bible-given values are being challenged in every way, and anyone who is a true believer is being called a “hater.”
Point is, we are commanded to “love” everyone (John 13:34-35), but that does not mean we have to accept their lifestyle. Because we follow God’s word about what are abominations, and don’t accept them as a part of us, the secular world sees us as a threat to them. There’s open hate of anyone who is a believer. The world wants to be able to live in any form of sin they choose, and not have anyone tell them it’s wrong. The evil ruler of this world (Satan) is controlling the hate directed at us though his demons and earthly followers.
Thing is, what we’re seeing today is only the beginning. It started in earnest over the last decade, and is rapidly growing stronger against us every day. We rely on our Heavenly Father to give us strength and courage to keep going in this sin-filled world, knowing this is only our temporary residence. Our permanent eternal home will be in a paradise that we can only imagine right now.
Paul tells us about a coming event that we have to look forward to in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. Only true believers have this promise of rising up to meet our Savior in the air. All others will be subject to going into the Wrath, or if they die before that, will be given a reservation at the Great White Throne Judgment. This is described in Revelation 20:11-15.
There are false prophets and antichrists in this world, which is not new. Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, John and others warned us about them all the way back to the first century. They’re just more out in the open today, as never before, and are on an agenda that will “welcome” the ultimate Satan-indwelt antichrist.
God has cared for us and loved us even before we were born. In 1 John 4:10, we read, “In this is love; not that we have loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation [substitute] for our sins.” Titus 3:5, “He saved us; not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of, regeneration of, and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
One verse in the song says, “You’re nice to Me when no one else is around; you only build Me up to let Me down.” This would refer to being a “secret believer.” When you’re all alone, do you call out to God and give Him praise and glory; and then when anyone else is around, do you act as if He’s nowhere in your life?
A true believer is one who constantly has praise for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit by the way we live, no matter what the occasion is or who is present. We do not beat our beliefs over the heads of anyone we are around, but we are not afraid to show we have accepted Jesus as our Savior either. If we are a part of His “flock,” we will willingly follow Him all the days of our lives.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as Holy; always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the Hope that is in you; do it with gentleness and respect.”
John 10:14-17, “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own, and My own know Me. Just as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep [not just the chosen Jews] that are not of this fold [Everyone in the world is eligible]. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd. For this reason, the Father loves Me; because I lay down My life, that I may take it up again.”
Earlier, I mentioned John 10:18. This shows the devotion the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit has for us; “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”
To be perfectly clear, at any point during the life of the “fully-human” Jesus, He could have stopped everything, and we would still be completely accountable for every one of our sins. We would never be able to make any sacrifice valuable enough to satisfy our Heavenly Father. Only a part of God Himself would be adequate. Through His unmatched love for us, we have a way to be totally forgiven of all our sins. Not only that, they are erased completely as if never committed.
Psalm 103:12, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”
When we do sin, not if, our Father loves those who are part of His Son’s flock so much that He will forgive us if we truly repent and ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:8-10).
As I stated earlier, we can never come close to matching the Love that God has for us. Lyrics from the song “The Love of God” states, “The love of God, is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell. It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest Hell.”
Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:9-13 tell us that ALL who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. The problem is that many are so enamored with this evil world and what it has to offer, they don’t consider where their eternal soul will finally end up. For believers, it will be Heaven with Jesus and all the saints and angels. For the lost, it will be the Lake of Fire with Satan and all his followers.
God gave us the ability for freedom of choice. He will honor our decision either way; but He would be extremely happy if we would choose Jesus as our Savior. He will turn no one away who truly calls out to be saved. Call on Him today!