Monday, October 13, 2014

12 | Be Loved

Our senior pastor, John Hogenson, recently said this to our congregation at the annual stewardship dinner.

"I love you.  And I want the very best for you."

It is a personal and powerful message, one that has echoed in my heart for several weeks now.  It is a message that surprised me, in part because Pastor Hogenson's been with our very large church for a only a few short months.  How can he know me enough to love me?  Yet I do not doubt his sincerity.  He exudes God's love in all that he says and does.  

"I love you.  And I want the very best for you."

It is a message that reminds me of how earnestly God loves me.  In every book of the Bible we can find this message from God.  He has created us for an eternity of his love, and he wants us to experience that love fully, abundantly, completely.

"I love you.  And I want the very best for you."

Our God is a loving God.  

In this culture that places conditions and limitations and expectations of love, we sometimes have difficulty embracing the breadth and depth of God's infinite love. We sometimes doubt that in our unworthiness and imperfection, we could truly be loved unconditionally and eternally.  

Really God, you love me?  With all my bumps and blemishes and warts and worries? 

And God answers, simply and sincerely: YES.  Totally. Completely.  Forevermore.

God wrote out his love for us in every book of the Bible.  Today let's be still in some snippets of God's greatest love letter to us all.  Let's rejoice in this amazing gift.

My precious child, 

I want you to know that I love you.  I want you to really know that truth, deep in your heart.  And I want you to carry it with you all of your days — the dark and stormy ones, the bright and joyful ones, and every day in between.

Juliet Grace Design via
My love for you existed even before I created you.  In my love I created you in my image.  I bestowed upon you special gifts, uniquely designed just for you.  You are exactly who I want you to be.  I want to abide in you, reside in your heart, live brightly in your life. 

via Pinterest
My love for you knows no end.  It will carry you to — and through — eternity.  And with this unending love I grant new mercies and blessings upon you, day after day after day.  Are you starting to understand?  My love for you is permanent.
My love for you is so large and so wide and so deep that it has no limits.  None.  Not one.  I created this entire world, and with the same care I created you.  I cradle the whole world in my hands, and I stretch out my hand to help you every day.  Some days you may feel like you are wandering or lost, but I always know where you are.  I always remember that you are my beloved child.  I want you to remember that, too.
But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8
My love for you is so sincere that I want the very best for you, for always.  And to that end I gave up my son for your salvation.  Don't stop to think about being unworthy of this sacrifice.  My love defies that kind of logic.  You have worth because I love you.  This salvation is grace. Pure gift.  No strings attached.  Yours.  Forever.  Please don't keep this gift wrapped up and pretty on the shelf.  Take it down, open it up, use it.  Live in this love and live it out loud.  I want you to rejoice in this gift.  It is the very best, from me, for you.
My love for you is so close that nothing can ever separate you from my love.  Not your distractions, your anger, your self-doubt, and definitely not your sins.  I have given it to you and nothing can ever steal it away.  My love is here for you every time you close your eyes, whisper a prayer, sing your praises, or serve those in need. There is no expiration date or supply shortage to worry about.  Use it up, pour it out. There will always be more.  I promise.

I love you so much.  I want the very best for you.

I want to give you a moment of stillness to soak up my love.

Breathe in this stillness.  Breathe in my love.

Be still.  Be loved.

With all my love and affection,
Your Father in Heaven

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