Thursday, February 14, 2008

You are loved

"My love endures forever." Wouldn't that be a great valentine quote on the inside of a card? It would be a great sentiment. Yet its lasting impact would be contingent upon who signs the card.

In my case I see God's signature at the bottom. A ministry teammate for our Sowing Hope team, Celeste Kern, directed us to Psalm 136 where the phrase His love endures forever is repeated after each declaration is given. God's love endures forever. No matter how vile or evil my life, God's love endures it forever. He loves me.

I read in I John 4:10-11, "In this is love, not that we loved God , but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation of our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." The Message paraphrase puts it another way, "This is the kind of love we are talking about--not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God. My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other."

I can love others because God loves me. I have the power to love others even when I feel that others may not deserve any love at all. I can love because God first loved me.

Now for those who see this day as awful, lonely, and a day of despair. God extends His love to you. No matter how terrible the breakup was, how wicked the person acted, how vile the situation is presently, or how hollow and lonely you feel, God loves you. In fact, he's prepared a place for you. In Psalm 68:6, the Bible says, "God makes a home for the lonely." God invites you to come to His house when you feel all alone. He's prepared a place for you. He loves you. As you let that thought slap you in the face, don't react with aggression, but stop and take a deep breath and repeat this phrase, "God loves me." Say it again, "God loves me." Cry out to God and ask Him to make that real for you. Scream out to Him and ask Him to show you His love. As you journey on in your life, you will discover His love. Look for Him. Discover God's home for the lonely. You can live through the pain of love-lossed. You can triumph over despair. Ask God to reveal His love to you and consider how you'll embrace it. God loves you. How do I know? Because I have experienced His love for me. Find out for yourself. Take the step of faith to cry out to Him. He will answer. He does care. He truly loves you.

You are loved!