You are Loved
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” John 3:16 –21 (NLT)
This message serves to explain that there is no greater love than the love of God. Understanding God’s love helps us to come into relationship with Him, find freedom in Him, understand who we are in His love and His purpose for our lives.
YOU ARE LOVED
Everyone is longing to be loved. However, our definition of love is often defined by our experiences of it, and the society around us. So, there are misconceptions of love, such as love is fear, or a lie, or isn’t available for me. However, we know that God is love as is described in 1 Corinthians 13. The greatest ever act of love, is Jesus dying on the cross for us. (Romans 5:7-8) God’s love is so real and deep it was shown through Jesus giving His life for us. This is the love we get to experience, that changes our experience and understanding of love, and is a love we can share with everyone. This love is developed by spending time with Jesus but is a gift that is for everyone and accessible to anyone.
There is great security in love, but only when we accept it, trust it and believe it. (Psalm 121) We can sit in restful confidence of God’s love. This is a love which cannot be earned, worked or strived for. Having this love in our lives changes everything and capturing even a glimpse of this love, helps us to love those around us.
THIS LOVE BRINGS FREEDOM
To know Jesus is to know His love, to know His love, is to know the freedom that it brings. There is no condemnation in the freedom of Christ, and we should not fear condemnation in His love. We live in darkness, afraid that if we are exposed in the light, we will find ourselves not worthy of God’s love. However, this isn’t the truth. We need to choose the light of Jesus. (John 3:18-20) And this takes courage and bravery. It isn’t necessarily the easiest choice, but it is the most rewarding. Love is the greatest tool to experience freedom.
HIS LOVE REDEFINES OUR LOVE
God is love. He defines our love and shows us how to love others. (1 John 4:7)
Think of Jesus’s mother Mary. (Luke 1:47) She could have been defined by the society at that time, as a pregnant unwed virgin. But she chose to glorify the Lord. Like Mary, we all have things that seek to define us. Things that are condemning to us. But in God’s love, we do not have to identify ourselves with our failures or circumstances, but rather with the hope we have in Jesus Christ. We know that we are loved and freed children of God. In receiving this love, we are commissioned to do what is right, which is to love like He loves.
- A love that is sacrificial, putting others above our selves. (John 15:13)
- A love that is committed and creates security. (Rom 8:35-37)
- A love that reconciles. (Col 3:13)
- Do you think of yourselves as loved by God?
- What does it look like in practice to show God’s love to others?
- What are some next steps you can take to deepen your love with God?
- How do non-believers view love differently to you? How could you reach out to them to share God’s love?