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First Thoughts

The Reason I Wrote The Great Love of God

The Great Love of God is my first book since 2016, and releases today.

There are lots of books out there to read, so I’d like to take a moment to explain three reasons why I hope you’ll pick up this one.

A Personal Reason for The Great Love of God

The years between 2018 and 2022 were the worst of my life. A ministry crisis and four brain surgeries created an explosion of suffering. But my story of those years is not one of pain but one of love, grace, and glory. When Christians betrayed me, and my body failed me, God pulled me close. His presence sanctified my suffering.

God revealed his love to me in profound and fresh ways. I want to share with you what I experienced. This book is personal. There is more of me in these pages than anything I’ve ever written.

A Global Reason for The Great Love of God

Everywhere you look, you see evidence of hatred in our world. The hatred is visible in the breakdown in foreign affairs and national politics. You see it in our ruthless social media feeds. Even our churches have become places that reflect the world’s cruelty more than the compassion of Christ.

Our culture feels to me to be standing on the precipice of a cliff of hatred. The Great Love of God is my effort to woo us away from that cruel danger toward a vision of infinite love.

A Practical Reason for The Great Love of God

As my body began to heal, as the turmoil in my ministry began to subside, and as I dove into my personal study of God’s love, I conducted an informal poll with two questions. The first question was, right now, with no time even to do a Google search, how would you define God’s love? The second question was, what book about God’s love would you give to anyone to help them understand and grow in that love?

I asked these questions to church members, friends, preachers, scholars, and co-workers. The answers I got were not awesome.

Most admitted that they talk about God’s love a lot but couldn’t explain what it was. They also admitted that, though there was much written about God’s love, they couldn’t think of a book they could give to everyone.

I have a Ph.D. in theology and have been in ministry all my adult life, but I didn’t have good answers to those questions either. The Great Love of God was the book I was looking for but couldn’t find. I wrote it for you to give to your Christian neighbor struggling to make sense of a challenge in her life. I wrote it for your unbelieving son or daughter.

I wrote this book for you, and I wrote it for your friends.

I hope you will read and be helped by The Great Love of God.

Dr. Heath Lambert is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. He is the author of several books, including The Great Love of God: Encountering God’s Heart for a Hostile World. 

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