‘Spring Lane Baptist

March 2024

With Streams of  Living Water”

Jesus said “I am the Door”

Faith Matters

It’s February and we think of Valentine’s Day and along with that ‘love’. What do we understand by that word ‘love’? On the day that the engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana was announced a press conference was held. A reporter asked the couple, ‘Are you in love?’ Diana answered, ‘Of course we are’; Charles said, ‘whatever that is’. This latter response was somewhat disarming not least for the young Diana.

For those who have had even a limited exposure to the Christian faith, they will tell you that God is love, that’s a given. Echoing Charles somewhat, I ask ‘what is God’s love?’ Even the shallowest digging into that statement, ‘God is love’, will reveal difficulties, the first obvious one being, ‘How about all of the suffering and the evils in the world?’

In the Bible there are a good number of ways in which God describes himself. He is the God of truth, of light, of justice, of holiness and yes, of love also. If we take one of these true statements in isolation and sidestep the others, we will rapidly have a distorted view of God and may find ourselves all at sea, which might well shipwreck any semblance of faith we once had.

What can we do if we recognise this is our dilemma and want to know the truth about God? If we describe this wanting as our soul’s hunger and thirst, then we may be assured that God will not leave us empty; that’s why he sent his Son Jesus.

Using symbolism, Jesus says, ‘He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’ And again, ‘Whoever is thirsty, let them come; and whoever wishes, let them take the free gift of the water of life.’

If we take Jesus at his word and entrust our very souls into his care, he will start to reveal to us the true nature of God: his sternness and kindness, justice and mercy, his hates and love. Yes, God’s love - and better than being simply told that he loves us we can know within ourselves that he does.

Stephen Richards


Faith Matters February 2024