Do you love me?

 

godloveThis planet can be a big, lonely place.  It is not uncommon to awaken in the morning and wonder if any really cares about us, or if we are just a cog in the machine. Things happen that make us insecure:  family changes, friends move, death visits, we relocate into a new community, we take another job. And often, deep inside ourselves, we feel like a little child, alone, wanting to be loved. Things happen to us, or we make choices, which cause us to feel ugly, physically or emotionally; or like a failure spiritually, and the question bubbles us into our consciousness, “Could anyone love me? Why would they want to?”

In a small group of people from our church family, I heard each of them answer the question, “what is the best part of your church?” by speaking of being loved and accepted.  Two of them have children with special needs who have been loved in our congregation.  One woman said that even though there were not many in her place of life, she stayed because it is ‘my home where I belong.’  That love is very personal to me. In the terrible months of Bev’s illness and then following her death, the love that I found has kept me on my feet and moving forward.

Love hunger is real.  Yes, many confuse it with many other things, but at the core of our being, we want to love and be loved.  So many things happen to us along the way that many of us have some confusion about what that means.  We come to believe contradictory messages – on one hand thinking we are unworthy of unconditional love – and on the other, wanting it more than anything in life.  We learn how to get a kind of ‘love’ from others depending on our circumstances.  We may become high level performers at work, confusing the rewards with love. We may become emotionally manipulative, confusing the concern that comes our way with genuine love. Many people confuse sex with love thinking that being held is the same as being loved. This confusion runs wide and deep, reinforced at every turn by pop culture.

The Gospel is the answer to the question – do you love me?  John’s declaration, when received by faith, transforms and heals us. “So the Word (Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity) became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” (John 1:14, NLT)   “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17, NLT)

God, the Creator, took the initiative to love you and me.  Why? Was it because we were beautiful or good? No, He expressed His nature which is Love!  “God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!” (Romans 5:8-10, The Message)

God saw us, not as worthless, but as beings of such incredible value that He rescued us from our rebellion, pulled us from our headlong plunge towards being separated from Him forever. He restored us to His family, giving us a home in His house, an expectation of life forever.  When we believe the message of His love, we begin to change from the inside out.  Selfishness yields to selflessness. Fear is eclipsed by faith. Despair is replaced with hope.  Death is overtaken by life. And “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19, NIV)

Consider this. What does God want from us? Jesus said it simply and directly.  “One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” Jesus said, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself. “  (Matthew 22:35-39)  And, He made it possible for us to please Him by LOVING US FIRST!

Do you struggle with love?
Is it hard for you to give and receive love?

Pray an honest prayer that bares your heart before God. If there are things there that produce guilt, tell Him. If you are unsure of His love because from your perch on history He seems not to care, tell Him!  Then, ask for the Spirit to open your eyes to the revealed truth of divine love, to bath your soul and spirit with the Spirit’s love.  Let God love you.

Meditate on this amazing prayer and receive the blessing! “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21, NIV)

_______________

Jesus Loves Me

 I was lost I was in chains
The world had a hold of me
My heart was a stone
I was covered in shame
When He came for me

 I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His presence
I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His arms

 Jesus, He loves me
He loves me, He is for me.
Jesus, how can it be?
He loves me, He is for me.

 It was a fire deep in my soul,
I’ll never be the same.
I stepped out of the dark and into the light
When He called my name.

 He holds the stars and He holds my heart
With healing hands that bear the scars
The rugged cross where He died for me
My only hope, my ev’rything.

 Jesus, He loves me,
He loves me.
Jesus, how can it be?
He loves me, He is for me

 He loves me, He loves me,
He loves me, He is for me.
My God. it’s amazing.
Jesus loves me

Ben Glover | Chris Tomlin | Reuben Morgan
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Ariose Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
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