True Love: From Cover to Cover (Part 2)
Yesterday, we briefly considered approximately the first half of the Old Testament regarding some of the principal ways God showed His love to those of old. Let us now pick up where we left off, continuing to demonstrate that the love of God shines forth brightly from beginning to end of the inspired text.

Through a careful study of the book of Job, mankind can better understand earthly suffering and the value of perseverance. The fact that God provided man with such a book underscores His love for us. The love of God is also seen in the other books of wisdom or poetry (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon) in that God instructs man how to find true joy. It is not through the vain things of this world; it is through fearing God and keeping His commandments. God loves His creation so much that He provided these words of wisdom and instruction for practical guidance in life.

The rest of the Old Testament is made up of the Prophets. These books include dozens of warnings to God's people to turn from sin before it became too late. These warnings are proof of God's love. Additionally, these books include many prophecies concerning the Messiah (including detailed information regarding His genealogy, birthplace, sufferings, etc.). The prophetic books are indeed the result of God's love.

In the New Testament, God showed His love by fulfilling the Messianic prophecies through His Son Jesus. The love of God was shown in the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as Jesus the Christ was born into this world of a virgin. Jesus' ministry, which included His teachings and good works, was a testimony to God's true love. It was the love of God that resulted in Jesus' death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection. God's love is clearly seen throughout the book of Acts as the Lord established His church and the saving gospel message was preached in all the world to Jews and Gentiles alike.

The remainder of the New Testament, except the last book, is composed of epistles or letters (most of which were written by the apostles Paul, Peter, and John). Divine love is demonstrated through these writings in that God did not leave Christians--His children--without instructions. These books, some of which were written to congregations and others to individuals, provide the necessary guidance for Christian living (cf. II Tim. 3:16,17). Finally, God's love is also shown in the book of Revelation. Although this is a difficult book, its theme is simple: ultimately, those on God's side will be victorious. Therefore, be faithful until death! God loves His faithful children enough to glorify them with Him in the heavenly abode for all eternity. Truly, it is impossible to overlook the love of God in the victory He makes possible through Christ Jesus.

If you are a good student of the Bible, you know that in spite of all that I've mentioned in yesterday's and today's lessons, I've really only scratched the surface of this subject. There is so much more that the Bible records about God's love!

Who can deny that God is love (I John 4:8) and that His love is true? No matter where one turns in the sacred text, the love of the Almighty springs off every page. These facts remain unchanged, even with the passage of time. God's love is still true--even in the twenty-first century! May we always be mindful of this, especially in the midst of difficult days.