Tell my people I love them

How would you sum up the gospel of Jesus Christ in just three words? I came up with this idea a few years ago – “three word gospels.” Just three words which convey some of the good news of Jesus. Here are some of my favourites. God helped me. Lost now found. Darkness now light. Dead now alive. Only by grace. Alive in Christ. Knowing God personally. Christ in you. Love, joy, peace. Fullness of life. Ransomed, healed, restored. Caterpillar into butterfly. Pretty amazing grace! Three word gospels. But I think the best of all is also the simplest. “God loves you.” It’s that simple. Amazing and incredible as it sounds, “God loves you.”
I have a little plaque on my desk in our garden office. I’ve placed it right where I can see it all the time in every study for the last 25 years. It reminds me of the calling before me as a minister and at the same time of the message we all have to share. It’s not a Bible verse, but instead a verse of a song I learned when I first became a Christian. It reads like this.
Tell my people I love them.
Tell my people I care.
When they feel far away from me,
Tell my people I’m there.
The simple message at the heart off the gospel. God loves you. God cares about you. And however tough life may be, whatever may be dragging you down or dragging you away from God, God is always there for you! That is God’s message for every one of us today, and every day. God loves us!
Ephesians 3 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
God wants us to know how WIDE His love is. So wide it extends to every human being who has ever lived. God’s love is so wide that it embraces everybody – even miserable sinners like you and me!
God wants us to know how LONG His love is. From eternity to eternity. We don’t need to worry about God’s love running out one day. Even more than the Energiser Bunny God’s love just keeps on and on and on! Nothing in the present and nothing in the future can ever separate us from God’s love. God has promised “I will never, ever leave you or forsake you.”
God wants us to know that His love is so HIGH that it reaches up to the heavens. God has truly “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” We may live as strangers on the earth, but we are citizens of heaven.
And God wants us to know how DEEP His love is. Deep enough to reach down to the worst and most desperate of sinners. And deep enough to reach into the deepest parts of our lives. A Christian friend of ours 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. Whatever the depths we may be trapped in – God’s love will rescue us!
And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. (Message)
There may be some people asking, How can I know that God loves me? How can I be sure that God really loves even me? Let me give you two ways you can be certain of God’s love,
We know God loves us because of THE BIBLE
There’s an old children’s song:
Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones, to Him they come. We are weak but He is strong.
Yes Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
John Stott described the Bible as “God’s love letter to the church.” The Bible teaches us about God’s love. And then also God speaks to our hearts through His word the Bible. The Bible tells us in so many places that God loves us!
Romans 8 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 316 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
The Bible records Jesus’s words of love and it records God’s love shown in actions in Jesus’s ministry and in His death and His glorious resurrection!
Romans 5 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God loves us enough that He gave His only Son Jesus Christ for us!
MY LORD, WHAT LOVE IS THIS That pays so dearly, That I, the guilty one, May go free!
Amazing love, O what sacrifice, The Son of God given for me.
My debt He pays, and my death He dies, That I might live!

1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
The Bible teaches us about God’s love. And then there are some parts of the Bible God uses to speak directly to us, telling us He loves us.
Jeremiah 29 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I have shared with you before how God used a particular passage in Isaiah 43 to assure me of His love for me at a very challenging and painful time in my life. It was as if those words had been written just for me.
Isaiah 43:1 But now, this is what the LORD says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
The Bible assures us in so many places just how much God loves us. If you want to know how much God loves you, read the Bible!
Then also we know God loves us because of GOD’S ACTIONS in our lives
Every single blessing we ever receive from God is an expression of His love for us.
Answers to prayer –
Experiences of healing
Times we have met with God in worship
Times we have met with God in fellowship with other Christians
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Every single instance where God has blessed you is a demonstration of His infinite love for you.
All the material blessings, all things given to us so richly to enjoy. And all the spiritual blessings as we thought about on our Gift Day last month.
Ephesians 1 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
EVERY Spiritual blessing in Christ! That’s how much God loves us!
Theres’s a lovely story told by Peter Kreeft about a family who were emigrating from Europe to America. They were so poor that they had to spend almost all their money on the ticket. What they had left over for food was only enough to buy bread and cheese. So for the first couple of days all they ate was cheese sandwiches. Then the little boy said to his father, “Daddy, please, can I have money for an ice cream cone, just this once? I hate cheese sandwiches! If I don’t eat anything different before we get to America, I’m going to die!” His father said, “We’ve almost no money left. And cheese sandwiches will keep you alive till we get to New York. Once we’re there, there are golden streets and everybody’s rich.” The boy wouldn’t stop asking, so his father finally gave him his last bits of change for an ice cream cone and waited. The boy didn’t come back for two hours. His father was getting worried when the boy finally came back with a fat tummy and a smile on his face.
“Did you get your ice cream cone?” the Father asked.
“Oh, sure, Dad. And then another one, and then a steak, and then apple pie.”
“What? You bought all that with the little bit of money I gave you?”
“Oh, no, Dad,” The boy replied.” It’s free. It all comes with the ticket!”
People say that being a Christian is all pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die. But that’s not right at all. God loves us so much and His blessings begin right here and now. It’s cake on your plate while you wait as well! And every blessing God pours out on us is an expression of His immense love for us all!
There is a song which sums up for me just how wonderful God’s love is for us. I first heard it in 1970s but now I find it used as a meditation in the Celtic prayer book produced by the Northumbria Community. Hillclimbing for beginners – Water into Wine Band
Sitting in the darkness of my mind I look but I can’t find
A single thing on which I can depend, if only I could find a friend
Who shares the pain I bear, and then together we could dare
To climb a hill I cannot see, in silence of eternity.
Not waiting for you, climbing up the hill I fall and stumble, still Your hand upon my shoulders is so strong, And every boulder sings a song of love, And high above Your laughter pulls me on and on, And ever since the morning there has been no right or wrong, but love.
God loves us. The Bible tells us so. And every experience we have had of God in our lives is a demonstration of His love for us. God wants every one of us this morning to know just how much He loves us!
Tell my people I love them.
Tell my people I care.
When they feel far away from me,
Tell my people I’m there.

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