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Lesson 18

God is the sum total of love. You can not think of a quality or attribute of love that is not included in God’s nature. Love completely defines God’s character. Love is what He is and His actions can be predetermined because of His love. We know He will always be slow to anger and quick to forgive. Because of His love, He has provided salvation to those who do not deserve it. Like lost lambs, humans don’t always make the best choices. We are prone to sin, despite our good intentions. We seem to be constantly battling against our desires to do what we don’t really want to do. These internal struggles are good, as they make us stronger in love’s fruits. Strengthened and guided by the Holy Spirit, the choices we make during this growth process will depend on us. Our fates are not predetermined, nor are our decisions. Because of His love, God lets us make our own decisions. He will be there to guide us down the right path, but He will not force us to take it. That will be our own decision. God has always taken this approach with the sentient beings He created. Giving them free will is an expression of His love, for true love will not force itself onto another. Love is something that must be chosen. If forced, they may pretend and act as if they love Him, but He could never truly know until they are tested. The Isrealites demonstrated this. They were always complaining against God and his leadership and yet He still took care of them. Can you think of a time when your bad choice has taught you a valuable lesson, and ultimately turned out for your good? Do you only learn and become better by winning?

Romans 7:15-25 International Children’s Bible
15 I do not understand the things I do. I do not do the good things I want to do. And I do the bad things I hate to do. 16 And if I do not want to do the bad things I do, then that means that I agree that the law is good. 17 But I am not really the one who is doing these bad things. It is sin living in me that does these things. 18 Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good. But I do not do them. 19 I do not do the good things that I want to do. I do the bad things that I do not want to do. 20 So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing those things. It is sin living in me that does those bad things. 21 So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me. 22 In my mind, I am happy with God’s law. 23 But I see another law working in my body. That law makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and that law makes me its prisoner. 24 What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death? 25 God will. I thank him for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So in my mind I am a slave to God’s law. But in my sinful self I am a slave to the law of sin.

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