1A God Loves You!

God loves you! This is the simple message at the heart of the Good News about Jesus. God loves you. God really cares about you. However tough life may be, whatever may be dragging you down or dragging you away from God, God is always there for you.
This morning I want us all to see how just how much God loves us!
Have you ever felt loved? Have you experienced love from a parent or a friend or a spouse? I want us all to realise that God loves each one of us much more than that, more than any love we have ever experienced in our lives, more than we can possibly imagine.
“See what incredible love God has for us!” (1 John 3:1 J.B. Phillips translation). God’s love for us is wonderful, great, amazing, fantastic. I love our amazing children and I do my very best to love them as much as any father is able to love his children. Still, I could never love them one thousandth as much as God our heavenly Father loves us. Just think about that wonderful truth and believe it. Receive for yourself God’s great incredible, amazing, fantastic, wonderful love. God loves you. You can say it for yourself, “God loves me.”
Like the astonishing generosity of the father’s love in Jesus’s parable about the wayward prodigal son, God has welcomed us home. God shows us how much He loves us by the way He treats us and in all the blessings He pours out on us.
God forgives our sins
Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 2:1-2; 1 John 1:8-9). None of us deserve to be God’s children. We all do and say things which hurt other people and cut us off from God. We could never earn or deserve forgiveness. Yet God forgives us.
We have received God’s free gift of eternal life
God has given to every believer the free gift of life in all its fullness (1 John 5:11-13; 1 John 2:25). We have passed from death to life, and we now have eternal life which not even death can take away.
We are God’s children
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1). The Almighty and Eternal God, Creator and Ruler of heaven and earth, adopts us human beings, to become His sons and daughters. Consider how great God is and how small we are. Yet God has made you His child – this is how much God loves you.
We enjoy the certainty of heaven
Other people don’t understand what Christians are talking about when we say we are looking forward to heaven. There is more to life than this mortal existence. This life is just the introduction, the prelude. We are God’s children already, but there is much, much more waiting for us. The blessings of heaven will be much more glorious than we can imagine – we will be with God forever! This is our Christian hope – not just a vague optimism but a happy certainty which rests on the promises of our God who always keeps His promises.
Jesus laid down His life for us
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross so that we could be forgiven. If we want a measure of God’s love, we just need to look at Jesus’s dying in our place (1 John 4:9-10; 1 John 3:16). We use a symbol of a cross in letters, emails, text messages and Valentine’s cards to say, “I love you”. The cross on which Jesus Christ died is God’s sign, saying “I love you” to the world.
“O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!”
God wants every one of us to know how much He loves us with an amazing love which never lets us go. In our Bible reading we heard this.
“… I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulness of God” (Eph 3:17-19).
God wants us to do more than know about His love intellectually. He wants us to know His love in our own experience, to know His love in practice as well as in theory. God wants everybody to know His love in a living relationship with God our Father and with our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. God longs for us to be filled with His love to the measure of the fullness of God.
How wide is God’s love?
God’s love encompasses the whole world (John 3:16-17). God loves everyone equally. God does not reserve His love for a specific group of people. Things like race, gender, and social status are irrelevant. God loves all men and all women and all children equally (Gal 3:28).
God’s love is wide enough to embrace everybody – even people like you and me. We may feel we are unworthy of God’s love. That is absolutely correct. Although we are totally undeserving, God loves us just the same. Some people find it hard to believe God loves them. They think they have gone too far away from God and His love could never stretch far enough to reach them. That is mistaken. God’s love is wide enough to reach everybody.
How long is God’s Love?
What is the length of His love? God’s love stretches from eternity to eternity. Neither the present nor the future can separate us from God’s love. The Bible tells us God is love. Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever. God does not change and His love for us will never change. We do not have to worry about God’s love running out. God’s love is forever and for always. It isn’t only available on Sundays. There are no regular business hours for God’s love. God’s love is never out to lunch – it doesn’t take holidays. God told His people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer 31:3). God never gives up on us. God will never abandon us or let us down (Josh 1:5). God wants us to experience that love with Him forever.
In difficult and painful times, we may think we are clinging on to God. The truth is it really is the other way around. It is God who is clinging on to us with a love which never lets us go. Some Christians worry because they think God has stopped loving them, but that is not the case. God’s love will never let us go.
John 10 27 (Jesus said) My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
We have a personal relationship with God which will never end. Jesus has promised He will never cast us out or drive us away, but He will keep us safe into eternity (John 6:35, 37-40). We have been born again to a new life and we can never become “unborn again”. More than that, God is more than able to keep us safe in His love and He has promised to do so. . Nothing in the universe can separate us from God’s love (Rom 8:28-39). He is greater than everything. God can and God will keep us safe. So, how long is God’s love? It never ends.
How high is God’s love?
“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies” (Psa 36:5). God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3) and He has raised us up and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ (Eph 2:6). We are citizens of heaven. In God, we can experience the richest, the highest, the purest, the finest love imaginable. God’s love is completely free. Anybody who wants it can have all they want. But at the same time, there is always more of God’s love to experience. C.S. Lewis gave a wonderful picture of heaven as ranges of mountains getting higher and higher nearer and nearer to God, with all the saints in glory moving on to the cry “Onward and upward, onward and upward”. However little or however much we have already experienced of God’s love – there are always more heights to press on towards.
How deep is God’s love?
Perhaps depth refers to God’s love being with us through even the most difficult of situations. That is certainly true. A Christian friend had a terrible time when her husband abandoned her with two young children. She wrote a book about her experiences and called it No pit too deep. It is true that there is no pit too deep for God’s love to reach us. Whatever the depths we are trapped in – God’s love will rescue us.
At the same time, God’s love reaches to the deepest parts of our being. God’s love is deeper than our deepest secrets. It can penetrate the darkness of our worst fears. God’s love reaches deep down inside us. Many people have deep hurts, things which have happened to us in the past which still leave echoes in the present, things which can lead to sadness or pain or depression or fears even if we think have forgotten them. God cares about how we feel just as much as about what we think. God wants to bring His healing and freedom and wholeness and peace to the deepest parts of our body, mind and spirit. However deeply we may be hurting, God’s love is deep enough to reach our need. So wide, and long and high and deep.
God invites each and every one of us to experience His amazing love, even today. All we need to do is put our trust in the heavenly Father who loves us more than we can possibly imagine. Ask and you will receive.
“… I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulness of God” (Eph 3:17-19).

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