You learned it in Sunday School: “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” ❤ Though many of us can quote the song lyrics and the John 3:16 (“for God so loved the world that He sent His Son….”) and we can give mental assent to the idea that God is love and He loves everyone, it’s difficult for some of us to really get this truth from our head to our hearts. I really think it would change everything to know that we know that we know that God loves us just the way we are.
“Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8 Phillips)
Lots of reasons why Jesus loves you without limits. Some reasons we can understand, some reasons that are way beyond us. Here’s something I think is significant: one reason that God can love you in spite of you (mistakes, sins, habits, less-than-desirable qualities – because those are the reasons you think He can’t love you, right? It’s easy to love the lovable qualities in you) one reason He can love you in spite of you is this:
GOD IS NOT HURT BY YOU – HE IS HURT FOR YOU
Let that sink in for a minute. Can you appreciate the distinction, the difference that changing those little letters makes?
He knows that in His love, there is the possibility for better. He knows that in His love, you can be free. He knows that in His love, you can be completely satisfied. Your mistakes don’t hurt Him – your mistakes makes Him hurt FOR you, because He knows you don’t have to live like that.
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from Me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30 Phillips)
He knows that if you could get to that place – where we understand His love and enjoy all the benefits of His love – then you could honestly receive the love of Jesus in its full measure. You may think, “I’ve gone too far, I’ve been too wrong….” You may have even been told that you have broken the Father’s heart. None of that is true, my friend. His heart is not broken by you – His heart may be broken for you, but that is a different feeling. He has offered such a gift – He knows you don’t have to live bound by your sin.
And it goes even further, really, if we let it: If we could take the example of Jesus and live without offense, we could recognize the hurts of people around us. We wouldn’t take everything as a personal attack, because it’s not all about us. We have to think of others, we have to prefer our brother, we shouldn’t think more highly of ourselves than we ought…. Maybe we could grow into recognizing that we don’t have to be hurt BY people, we could hurt FOR people, too.
If we can get to that place – where we understand that the love of Jesus is without limit and we aren’t stuck in some kind of scarcity mentality and He has plenty for all of His children, than we can move into the place where His love can flow from us uninhibited, without reservation. Flowing from His heart to our heart to their hearts (the people within our sphere of influence), until they start to experience for themselves firsthand the love of Jesus – and then guess what? Uninhibited, the love flows from His heart to their hearts to the hearts of the people within their sphere of influence, and like ripples in a pond, they keep going out and out and out and on and on and on….
“Above everything else be sure that you have real deep love for each other, remembering how ‘love will cover a multitude of sins’ ” (1 Peter 4:8 Phillips)
Jesus always pointed people forward to the Father, motivated by love, because He knew that’s where their healing and help would spring from. If we can get ahold of how much the Father loves us, how we could be healed in His love, wouldn’t we want to pass it along? Love people enough to lead them to God?
Maybe it’s about living in such a way that people who don’t know God might come to God because they know you.
And then it’s His love –
Flowing from His heart to our heart to the hearts of the people within our sphere of influence, until they start to experience for themselves firsthand the love of Jesus – and then the love flows from His heart to their hearts to the hearts of the people within their sphere of influence, and the ripples keep going out and out and out and on and on and on….
To live like that – heart open like we talked about last week, and then moving on to passing along the blessing of living heart open to the people within our sphere of influence – that would be a treasure . I’m praying the Lord will help us get to that place ❤