A number of years ago I came to the conclusion about all songs. Yes, all songs. I was a teenager when I made this claim so of course I knew everything there was to know about everything! (written in the most sarcastic tone possible.) I came to the conclusion that every song that was ever written has one theme…Love. Either the song is about loving something, somewhere or someone OR it is about not loving something, somewhere or someone. Go through your iTunes library and see if you agree-it may take a while to find the connection but if you look hard enough (and clutch enough straws) you’ll find it haha!
Love holds the world together.
Love has the ability to change a life. A situation. A nation.
This week everyone has been talking about love way more than usual. The world has been shouting ‘finally love has won’, twitter has had #lovewins trending worldwide and people feel like they’ve been given the freedom to live their life as a reflection of their love towards others.
This post is not written to enter into discussion about the law change in the States. I think we can all agree that the last thing the internet needs is another blog about the decision. This law impacts the lives of many people from many different backgrounds, beliefs and circumstances – as much as we would like to tar everyone with the same brush, we cannot. However there is one thing that is the same for every person on the face of the planet…
We all want to be loved.
Over the noise of the media, activists, protesters, news reports and tweets there is another voice speaking. This voice is not speaking to one particular group… He is speaking to everyone.
It’s the voice of love Himself, Jesus, saying;
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:13
You see love didn’t win a couple of days ago when this law change came. Love won 2000 years ago when Jesus died upon the cross to pay the price for our sin, a price that none of us could pay. He willfully laid down His life so that each of us may receive incredible grace, forgiveness and freedom!
Friends, I want you to know that you are fully known…yet fully loved!
Think about that for a moment – you are fully known. God knows every little thing about you;‘O Lord, you have searched me and you know me…you perceive my thoughts from afar…you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.’ [Psalm 139]
God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows me better than I know myself. It’s easy to make ourselves look good from the outside but God sees our heart.
As much as I try to hide it I know that God sees me being grumpy when things don’t go my way, he hears the thoughts I think when someone treats me unfairly, he knows the truth whenever I tell a lie, he hears the sigh whenever something or someone inconveniences me, he listens to me rant about something that has went wrong even when He was the one who told me not to do it. Nothing is hidden from Him.
Being fully known would terrify most people-we live in a society were being vulnerable is the last thing you should ever do because the moment you let your guard down someone will hurt you.
Not with God.
He does something different.
We are fully known before a Holy God yet we are fully loved. He doesn’t see our brokenness, sinfulness and filth and run away. He sees our sin yet loves us. Please don’t hear me wrong, He does not like your sin nor can He tolerate it but He chooses to love you despite your sin. His love for a sinful people is shown by sending Jesus as a way for us to be reconciled back to God. Sin has broken our relationship with God but the death of Jesus has restored it. Sin offers us no hope of eternal life in Heaven but the resurrection of Jesus confirms a secure eternal life in Heaven. Rules and religion are not birthed out of love, they serve as behavior modification without life-transforming power – but a relationship with Jesus changes our hearts and lives forever with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
God’s love for us enters into the messiness of life.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
Look at the life of Jesus: He spent time with sinners, people who didn’t fit into the social norm, people who were hard to love, people who messed up time and time again. Yet when they spent time with Jesus things started to change. Why? Because Jesus showed them that who the world told them they were did not actually define them. He pointed to a different way a life full of true hope, joy and peace. He used them to do more than they ever dreamed possible. He personified what unconditional love is and because of that people were forever changed.
God’s love changes everything.
How much you love God plays no role in how much He loves you.
You can cause God to love you more as much as you can cause the sun to rise.
A devotional I use writes; ‘Our need for Jesus is deep, but His love for us is deeper. His love for us is constant, whatever season and state we’re in. He redeems us and refines us because of this great love, not because of what we do.’
You are fully known yet fully loved.
Maybe like me you sometimes like to know what this love looks like on a day to day basis. Let me tell you about a few things I’ve seen and heard of Jesus doing for people.
- One night I was sitting at my computer when all of a sudden I felt prompted to call someone. So I did and when they answered they asked why I was calling. I didn’t really have answer but we chatted for a while and it turns out this person was about to overdose on medication but before they did, they said; “Lord, if you want me to live make someone call me.” God’s love is personal to each of us.
- There was a season in my life were I was finding ministry really difficult and I found a passage of scripture that I held dear to my heart to get me through. This was not one of the classic Bible verses people quote to you. On a day when I was questioning what God was doing in my life a friend text me saying; ‘I hope this makes sense to you but I really felt that the Lord wanted me to text you this verse.’ and would you believe it, it was the very verse I had been clinging on to (and I hadn’t told anyone!) God’s love speaks to us at the right time, in the right way.
- There was a girl I’d met who was travelling home from an event and she always went home a certain road but this one particular night she felt God tell her to go the longer way home. She could have ignored him and went home her usual way but she chose to listen to Him. When she got home she turned on the news to hear of an explosion that happened during her time coming home. It was on the very route she was going to travel. God’s love guides each of us.
Love did not receive life changing power when the law was changed this week. Love has always held life changing power because the Bible clearly tells us; there is only one definition of love, it is found in 1 John 4:16
God is love.
Love is not what God does, it is who God is.
Friends, today let me urge you to embrace this great love God has for you. Don’t just hear about it and walk way from it. God’s great love for you is extended through the person of the Lord Jesus. He calls you to ask for forgiveness of your sin, turn away from it and live your life for Him. It is only then that you find true freedom – the world is offering a cheap alternative to love that will fade away with everything on this earth but the truth of God’s Word and your relationship with Jesus will last for all of eternity.