Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Does God Love Me?

                I am working on my study in John this morning, and I came across a scripture passage that got me thinking about the Love of God. Jesus is talking with the Jewish leaders who are asking Him to tell them plainly whether He is the Christ. The suspense is killing them. (John 10:24) Jesus explains to them that He has already told them who He is, but they choose not to believe Him. He tells them that they are not His sheep, because all His sheep know His voice. (John 10:25-27) This leads me to the verse that stuck out at me.
             “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:28
                Jesus says that those of us, who are His sheep, have been given eternal life. We have been given a life that never ends, and a life that is real and genuine. We have been given a hope and a future in Him. We shall never perish, we shall never die. He also says that no one shall ever snatch us out of His hands. As I pondered on this verse, I asked the question, does God ever stop loving me?
                The Bible teaches us that God’s love is unconditional and eternal. From before the world began God loved us and wanted a relationship with us. In Genesis we see Adam and Eve walking and talking with God in the garden. They had a relationship with God and He had a relationship with Him. But then sin came and separated them from fellowship with God. Did that separate His love for them? No, it only separated the ability to fellowship as they once did.
                There are times I believe in our lives when we question whether or not God loves us. We find ourselves living a life that is far away from God and we think that God could never love us or accept us because of the state we are in. My daughter said to me the other day that she didn't want to go to church because she felt like a lazy bum. I responded with, “Lazy bums are Jesus’ favorites!” Our sin will cause us to fall away from God, from the eternal life that we have in Christ. But God never stops loving us because of it. Sin separates us from fellowship but it never separates us from His love.

                John 3:16 is affirmation of this truth. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus said these words to all the “whosoever’s” that would listen. You can be living a life of sin and want to know Jesus, and you may think that you need to clean yourself up before you can come. But that is not the way God our Father works. He wants you to come as you are- lazy bums and all- and His love will wash away the filth of your life.
                Paul writes in Romans 8:38-39 that he is persuaded “that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present not things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We may stop loving God, but He never stops loving us. You do not have to clean yourself up to come to Jesus, in fact, Jesus wants you to come to Him with all your filth and He wants to show you how His love can scrub away the worst of grime in your life. He is the ultimate Cleaner, and all He asks is that you put your hope in Him and let Him do the rest.
                The other thing that I thought about was what He said when He stated that no one can snatch me from His hands. This gave me a peace and a comfort. This made me think about all the trials and struggles in my life, the condemnation that I have come against and how He always pulled me closer during those times. Barnes Notes on the Bible states that snatch is originally written pluck, and it means “ to rob; to seize and bear away as a robber does his prey. Jesus holds them so secure and so certainly that no foe can surprise him as a robber does, or overcome him by force.” (biblecc.com) Jesus has such a hold on us that nothing can come between Him and me; except me. I choose how close I am to God. He holds me in His hands, tightly. I am the one that struggles in His grip.
              The enemy wants to keep us away from fellowship with God; we see that his original intent in the Garden of Eden is to break that fellowship, because he knew that God could not fellowship with sin. He wanted to wiggle his way in between God’s hold that He had on Adam and Eve, and he wants to do it to you too. But God, even in spite of all my sin, my failures, my faults and my filth, still reaches out and says, “I love you, and nothing will ever separate you from Me again.” No matter where you are at in your life, you may be a Christian and in complete fellowship with the Lord, or a sinner in need of the Savior’s cleansing, you can always come. Just come to Jesus and He will do the rest. If anyone tells you that you need to go and clean yourself up before you come to Jesus, then they do not know Jesus.
                Jesus did not come to save those that were perfect and clean, He came to those that were broken, full of the filth of sin and sought them out. He pursues us, even while we are in our sins. And when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He holds us so tight that nothing and no one, not even death can ever separate us from Him or His love for us.
              If you find yourself wondering if God can love you as you are, I pray these words will encourage you to see that His love for you has never wavered. You may not love Him, but He has never stopped loving you- nor will He. Just come to Jesus, my sisters, my friends, just come to Jesus as you are and let Him cleanse you with His everlasting love. He loves you, no matter who you are, where you are, or what you are- His love has no boundaries when it comes to you. May you see the love of Jesus Christ in your life today and come to Him as you are. To Him be the glory forever and ever, Amen.