"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in him may not die but have eternal life" (John 3:16)
Love is talked about everywhere - nearly every song out there is about love. Love is so important and yet we so often fail to love well and to live well. If we want to love well we first have to understand that we are loved.
Shell’s sweaty and slobbery five pound note is still worth five pounds... and everyone want's it!
There is NOTHING you can do that will ever stop God loving you. There is nothing that will change your value - you are made in his image! This cannot be undone by anything in the universe.
God is the perfect father. He gives us good gifts and he even gave us the best gift in the universe... his son Jesus! When we had made bad decisions and sinned God was still desperate to be friends with humanity. So God himself took on our humanity and even the results of our human sin by dying on the cross; he got what we deserved. Now that's what World Changing Love looks like!
"He died to bring me and you together."
Jesus didn’t just die to let us know his love for us, but to empower us to become love just as he is love. As we accept God‘s love for us, we learn to love God In response and we learn to love others - the two are inseparable ( See 1 John 4: 19-21)
We have a choice to make. To accept the gift of forgiveness for ourselves - believing that God loves us so much that he died for us - that the God of the universe thinks that we are worth dying for. When we believe this we naturally reposed to God's love by loving him in return and recognising that we and the people around us are worthy of love.
"Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and love your neighbour as yourself."
Love is very practical, it isn't just an emotion or fluffy feeling but something that is meant to permeate all of who we are and all of what we do (this doesn't mean that feelings aren't included but the way!)
Love God with...
Heart/Mind - Our emotions and our thoughts - honouring and obeying him with our internal life... and spills out from our internal life.
Soul - our very created existence - stewarding our bodies well and looking after what God has blessed us with.
Strength - our money, power & influence; using this to bless others and make God famous!
When we respond to God's love for us, realise our identity (which cannot be changed by sin or by how we may have been treated or even if we're chewed up or rubbed on sweaty armpits) and respond by loving God and everyone around us then we partner in God's dream of us becoming...
Spend some time hearing from God, ask him to reveal who you are, your value and worth. Maybe you want to accept his gift of grace for the first time today - maybe you need to be reminded of your identity!
Who, what, where, when and how are you going to love today?