Covenant Love

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Genesis 8: 20-22

We returned to Genesis today, with Steve’s message focused on Genesis 8:20-22. He talked about how Genesis teaches the depravity of humans, as evidenced by verse 21, where God says He will never again destroy the earth, even though the inclination of the human heart is evil. Steve posed the question: why God won’t destroy the earth again if that’s the reason He sent the flood in the first place?
            “What’s He saying?” Steve asked. “‘If I were to choose to destroy the earth because man’s heart is evil, he would get a flood every single day.’ That’s why I believe in total depravity. I was a pretty good kid until this verse revealed the pockets of pride in my heart where I compared myself with others and thought I was a pretty good kid.”

            He turned to Romans 3:9-18, which talks about how there is no one righteous and all people have turned aside to seek their own ways instead of God’s. When we appreciate the difference between our “scrummy heart” and God’s grace, we can see we have nothing to offer Him. When we realize it’s all up to God, we will want to pray more. If we think we’re good and everything is up to us, it’s no surprise the result is unhappy, infantile, crabby Christians—people who have been around church for years but never mature. Instead of trying to prove how good we are, we should spend our time loving people.

            Steve said God’s covering over us and love for us should make us realize His love starts with Him and comes to us. He recalled the refrain from the old song, “Oh, how I love Jesus because He first loved me.” Once we realize the truth of that, he said we will realize that God loves us because of who He is, not because of what we have done or will do.

            “He loves you because of Him,” he said. “That’s awesome. It’s not because of your perfection, but because of His boundless love . . . God doesn’t need us on our end. God comes to us and rescues us because of Jesus Christ. The only thing we do is receive His love. Some of you are struggling to understand He loves you.”

            When we understand His love, it will give us a desire to serve Him out of our passion instead of duty and obligation. As a comparison, Steve said nobody has to force him to watch the NBA playoffs because he wants to do. If we can live with this kind of passion for God, it changes everything.