I can say for certain today that I am loved. I hope you feel the same, but maybe you don't. Maybe it has been a while sense a human has come up to you and said, "I love you." Perhaps you feel you have seen love in a Disney movie or book, but when it comes to seeing love in your own life, it just doesn't come that easy. Hugs are few, kisses are seldom, and flowers haven't shown up at your door for years. Cards may not say it, and people you know might not proclaim such news, but trust me, you are loved. The Bible says it over and over again. No matter if you feel loved much or hardly at all, stay with me. There is greater love waiting to be revealed: the love of Jesus
"Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so..." indeed he does, and he loves you too. I know you have heard words like these. Maybe you heard them once at church or a Bible study, but did you consider what they really meant. Many years ago, the Apostle Paul said, "And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is" (Ephesians 3:18 NLT). Regardless if you have heard them and can't understand, or never heard them at all, this promise holds true—you are loved.
You are loved because Jesus said so.
In the book of John, Jesus said, "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love" (John 15:9 NLT). If your life has anything to do with the words of Jesus, you should be living a great life. The truth is simply this: Jesus said words that really do contribute to your life. Remembering this, when Jesus says he loves you, he definitely means it. The words of Jesus pierced people's hearts and healed people's lives, so his words can impact you too. However, it was as if words didn't express Jesus' love for you enough because he didn't stop expressing his love for you there.
You are loved because Jesus lived it.
The Bible goes into great detail about the life Jesus lived. It ranged from raising people from the dead to blessing children. But the greatest act of love Jesus portrayed was the decision to die on the cross for us. "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8 NLT). Jesus died on a cross for our sin because that is how much he loved us. The good news is that he still does. He has given us an opportunity to accept the love that he dedicated his entire life to living. Don't focus on your sin and positions. Jesus died so things like that wouldn't separate us from the wonderful love of God. John says, "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NLT). Jesus lived love, and he lived it for you to know how much he loves you. What a wonderful picture he gave us!
You are loved because Jesus taught it.
The New Testament is full of parables that Jesus taught to anyone who would listen. One parable Jesus told had to do with a father and his two sons. "The younger son told his father, 'I want my share of your estate now before you die.' So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his two sons. A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve" (Luke 15:12-14 NLT). As it turns out, the younger son's plan didn't work. He thought the life away from his own home and with much money would make him happier, but it just brought him to a horrible, barren place in his life. "So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him" (John 15:20 NLT). This father also had a celebration for his son’s return. At the time, it didn't matter what he had done or all of his sins, he was home! Jesus taught this story because he has the same heart. Jesus was the perfect example of living what you preached.
You are loved, but God wants you to love also.
God has given you your valentine because he loves you, but it also has a couple words on it that says, "Be Mine." Have you ever saw this type of valentine? The person who gives it to you not only loves you, but wants you to love them. This is the way we can look at it when it comes to God's love. He has given us love, but he wants us to live a life of love just like him. We will never understand God's love perfectly on this earth. In fact, Ephesians 3:19 says, "May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." John 14:21 says, "Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to them." When we live a life of love like Jesus, we get to understand his love toward us more! God wants you to be his. He desires your obedience and love. He sent Jesus into the world so you could have the opportunity to be his disciple and experience love in ways beyond our initial thoughts and desires. When God speaks of love, he speaks of a love that is so much greater than we can even imagine. John 9:23 says, "Then he [Jesus] said to the crowd, 'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.'" Whenever you experience God's love in your own life, the call to live a life of love with Jesus becomes a little easier. Just simply reading the Bible with a follower's heart can sure change your heart and help you understand God's love.
You are loved by the creator of the universe. There is no other love in the world that is able to take the place God has to love you. It doesn't matter if you feel loved or not—you need God's love. This is a love that is life-changing. The Love Chapter says this, "Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT). So make God's love known, and definitely don't forget that you are loved by God. Not just on Valentine’s Day, but always. Through the good and the bad.
Happy Valentine’s Day 2015!