Thursday, March 1, 2018

We Are Loved

You Are Loved

You are loved. Forget everything you think you know about theology. Forget the doctrine. Focus on these three words. You are loved. YOU are loved. You ARE loved. You are LOVED. Maybe I am loved might be a little better. I am loved. I AM loved. I am LOVED. We’re on solid Biblical footing here. For God so loved the world, He gave…But God demonstrates his own love for us in this…This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us…For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God. God loves you and Jesus loves you. It’s a fact. Not just a sentimental children’s hymn with a catchy tune. A concrete absolute one-hundred percent reliable take it to the bank that’s a fact Jack fact. Yes it is. And you (or me for that matter) will never make any real progress in actual Christian character formation until we can get our heads around it.

What brought all this on was an encounter I had this afternoon with a person in the grip of addiction. This person had come to see me last week, maybe the week before, desperate to get clean. I know a guy so I made the call, hooked her up. I’m not completely sure what happened next but I’m thinking it was something like one step forward three steps back. Anyone who has ever suffered through an addiction will immediately understand. If you haven’t you probably won’t. Anyway today was a one step forward day, albeit rife with concern over when the three steps back would come. All I could think to say was ‘Know you are loved’. ‘You are loved and love never gives up and neither will I’. It was a powerful moment and not something I’m accustomed to. I’m pretty sure I love this person. Not that lusty erotic romantic love that defines so many of our relationships but true Godly love; Agape love. It is a gift from God and seems to be making a difference in both our lives. A faith building love; a love that dares to hope all that good stuff in the Bible about healing and protection might just be true, even for normal everyday people.

So here’s something to think about. What if all healing, wherever and whenever it is found, comes from Jesus. What if it is not dependent on whether or not the one healed is a believer but totally dependent on God? That some are healed and some are not may seem arbitrary or even cruel but we only see one side. God told the prophet Malachi “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse…put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.” What if love is the full tithe? Or prayer or "to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?” What if healing is part of God's blessing?

We are not just loved. We are made in the Image of God; we bear the Imago Dei even if it is a little more tarnished in some of us. We are what He made us-His craftsmanship, His handiwork, His masterpiece. We are loved and that love is meant to be shared, but we can’t share what we don’t know. We are loved. Believe it. Know it. Share it. We have a lot to discover and a lot to share and a whole lot of people who need healing.

Peace JRG