By Lauren Cameron
Love does change everything, but only if we receive it and allow ourselves to experience it. We hear all the time that God loves us, but we often have a hard time accepting it. We are so loved by God, but if we don’t receive it, it means nothing.
It blows me away to think that God who spoke the earth into existence, loves little old me. This is a kind of love that could literally change your life. It has changed my life. But it is very possible to go through our lives and live, without having a relationship with Jesus. We can miss out on everything God has for us. We can be Christians…. Church going, Christ following people, but not believe that God loves us.
1 Cor 13 (LOVE NEVER FAILS)
This is the well-known verse from weddings and funerals. In this verse, Paul is talking to a church in Corinth about Love. So, Paul knew that we can have faith in Jesus, we can have spiritual gifts, prophesy, give to the poor, tithe, go to connect groups, serve every single weekend at church and still not believe that we are worthy of God’s love. We can do all of this and still think that God isn’t proud of us as His children. We can completely miss out on everything He wants us to experience.
There is a very famous book The Five Love languages, that talks about how we all process love differently. We can miss out on what someone is trying to tell us, if we don’t know what someone’s love language is. Not only do we process love differently, but we all express love differently.
Acts of service – Receiving gifts – Quality time – Words of affirmation – Physical touch.
God was fully aware of this and how he made humans. The bible isn’t just written with God telling us ‘I love you, go off and be merry now! You’ve got this!’. God purposely goes out of His way to communicate to us, just how much He loves us, in many different ways.
Acts of service, is needing someone to show you that they love you.
God shows this to us in Mark 10:45
‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’.
Jesus didn’t come into this world to get anything for himself. Far from it. He served us by giving his life.
‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ Jesus going to the cross was the biggest act of service any of us will ever receive.
Receiving gifts. Some people feel loved when they are gifted something. Because gifts are the best.
John 3:16 tells us,
‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.’
Many of us today couldn’t comprehend giving anyone we know over to die. Especially not our own child. I even struggle when I’m shouting burritos and the person I’m with adds Guacamole. We want to protect the people and things that we love. But God loves us so much, that He gave His son, to pay for our sins. This is something that we could never repay, but it was done for us, so we don’t have to live in eternal separation. God loves you & I so much that He gave us Jesus. God has nothing but gifts for us. Salvation, forgiveness, restoration, joy, love, grace…..
‘For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ We can be reminded every day just how much God loves us, by what He has given us.
Quality time. We feel loved when someone sets aside time just to be with us.
‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means “God with us”).
Jesus left the comfort and perfection of heaven, to come down to earth and suffer for us. Because God loves us that much.
We may have heard before that someone loves us, and they eventually let us down. Or something happened and things got tough, and they didn’t want to stick around. But that was never God and it will never be God. He wants to be with us always. Even when we were sinners and living outside of his will. Even when we rejected Him and even when we continue to reject Him. He will be there when things get bad, He won’t run.
‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’
‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’
God loves us so much that He wants to do life with us. When things get tough He gives us the strength to get through things we never thought we could.
Words of affirmation. Some feel loved when someone says I LOVE YOU.
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’
His love for us is so faithful, we can’t get rid of his love even if we tried. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, or will do, His love is UNSTOPPABLE.
‘The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.’ His love is steadfast, reliable, trustworthy and dependable.
‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.’
God loves us because we are His Children. His love will never be based on what we do or don’t do. He loves us just the way we are, with all our faults.
Physical touch. We feel love when there’s contact. One of Jesus best friends was also a physical touch kind of person.
Thomas hears about Jesus rising from the dead and says;
“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Jesus is simply saying to Thomas, the same thing that he says to us today. If we let him, he will give us a real tangible experience with the creator of the universe, that will change everything. The reason we are here today is because Jesus was killed for us and put in the grave, but he proved that he is the one and only son of God and the only way to heaven.
Life over time conditions us to believe that we can’t trust fully. We can’t trust love fully, even when this love is an everlasting love. One that is undying, never-ending, protecting, steadfast, unconditional. We still don’t think it’s possible to be loved that much. Everyone has a reason to believe that Gods love can’t be unconditional. Everyone has a story as to why it’s tough to hear ‘Father God loves you’. But it’s the complete and unfailing truth.