God Really Loves You
As I woke up this morning, it was dark outside. Actually, it still is not quite daylight. But, as I looked outside, I felt a gladness in my heart. The gladness came from knowing that before my foot hit the ground, before I started on my way, and before the sun had risen in the sky, Jesus, the Son of God, is forever risen. And, because He is forever risen, I know that I am forever loved.
Now, it is good on a good day to know that I am forever loved by the God who has given me life and life eternal. That is good.
BUT, keeping it real, it is really good to know that I am forever loved on my bad days, my really bad days. And, when I mean my really bad days, I am mean the days, not when something happens to me, but the days when I do something that is outside of the blessed will of God.
Now, we do not like to talk about those days. But, we need to talk about those days because it is in those days that we have a choice - darkness or light, hiding or uncovering, shame or surrender, condemnation or conviction, running or repentance, resistance or restoration.
You see, we can sing the songs like "Jesus loves me this I know"; but, are these just words in a song or do they reveal the true nature of our relationship with God.
Do you believe, do I believe, do we believe that God really loves us?
Jesus proved His love in John 8:10-11 when He dealt with the woman caught in the very act of adultery according to scripture. It was not a rumor. It was like some of these viral video postings that less thoughtful people post believing that everything done on the side street should show up on front street. Apparently somebody saw what somebody would not want seen and had dragged this woman before Jesus for judgement.
Jesus decided that His verdict was that He loved this woman because He was the Son of God and He also was God, God the Son. And, the God, our God, who is love, showed this woman love.
After chastising those who had brought her to Him in a way that only Jesus could do, He told her, "'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' She said, 'No one, sir.' And Jesus said, 'Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.'"
Beloved, there is no condemnation in Christ because God loves you. Your sins are forgiven. And, the love of God is so powerful that it will not only forgive your sin but will also empower you to resist the sin that comes against you. God loves you so much that He does not want to leave you where you are toiling with your sin over and over again. But, you have to accept His love and believe that He really loves you...especially on your bad days, your really bad days.
And, when you begin to trust in the God who really loves you, you will find that the power of sin over you will begin to grudgingly yield to the love that will overpower your sin.
Just say this out loud three times, "God really loves me."
Come on now, do it.
God really loves me!
God really loves me!!
GOD REALLY LOVES ME!!!
Beloved, say it because it is true. If you said it, I believe that you are already feeling better.
Now, when that sin, THAT SIN, comes against you, remember that God is not going to condemn you. He is going to love you and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, give you all that you need so that you can go your way, which will be God's way for you, and you will not continue to sin as you have before. For some, it may be immediate. For others, it may take a few tries. The change in your life and the lives of those around you will make it worth it.
Why? Because God really loves you.
If you need some help in your journey, we will be connecting today at Noonday Prayer. Connect with us as you come together with those who love God and love you.
Also, please do come by the church to get your books for next week's first HOPE Wednesday lesson on the Book of Ecclesiastes.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!