(By Rachel Joyce)
Do you have any idea of how deeply you are loved?
No matter who you are or what you’ve done, you are profoundly loved by God! Nothing will ever change His love for you. Do you believe this? In His Word, God affirms,
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Having created each of us, God understands our deepest needs and knows how to meet them. He demonstrated His limitless love for us by sending His Son into this world so that we could experience what true love really is. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 helps us understand what real love looks like:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance…love will last forever!
Jesus lived out this kind of love. He came as the servant of all, gentle and meek. His life exemplified the love of the Father - He restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and the ability to walk to the lame; and He preached the good news of God’s love and grace. The ultimate expression of Jesus’ love was when He sacrificed Himself on the cross to put away our sins so that we could become the children of God. What suffering He endured so that we could be brought into His family! His desire is for us to trust in Him so that we can enjoy closeness with Him.
I find it amazing that the God of the universe actually desires intimacy with us. How incredible that our Lord Jesus longs for all of us who have trusted in Him to be with Him and see His glory! Not only did He die to redeem us, He also asked the Father, who is the source of all good and perfect gifts, to bless us with many gifts. He prayed, “Protect them by the power of your name…[and] keep them safe from the evil one.” He wanted us to be filled with His joy. By giving us the Word of God, He made it possible for us to learn more of Him and to have the confidence that our faith is resting on the solid ground of truth; He knew that when we allowed the truth to work in our lives, it would make us holy. When we trusted Jesus, He placed within us His Holy Spirit, so we would have strength and wisdom far exceeding our own. And He prayed for us to experience the perfect unity enjoyed by the Father, Son, and Spirit. He chose to “make His home” in our hearts so that our “roots” could “grow down into God’s love and keep” us strong.
That’s what God wants for you. He pretty much moved heaven and earth to make a way for you to know just how much He loves you. And He has made it possible for you to live in the good of that love every day for the rest of your life. The choice is up to you. Other people may have rejected you. Those who should have loved you may have chosen to walk away. But there is One whose love for you is steadfast and unchanging, deeper and purer and richer than you can begin to comprehend. His nail-scarred hands are reaching out with compassion to pull you close and hold you to Himself. He wants you to know that as you experience His love, “You will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
*References: Joh. 3:16; Psa. 100:3, Mat. 6:25-34, Isa. 40:25-31; 1Jn. 4:14; Mar. 10:44-45, Mat. 11:29; Mat. 9:27-30, Mar. 7:32-35, Mat.11:5; Gal. 3:26, 1 Co. 15:3-4, Joh. 3:8, 14-17; Eph 2:8; John 17:24; Jas.1:17; Joh. 17:11,15; Joh. 17:13; Joh. 17:14, 17, 19; Joh. 17:21-23, Eph. 1:13; Joh. 17:23; Eph. 3:17; Eph. 3:19.