In the Gospels Jesus is a gentle man who has no standard regarding whom he loves. Men, woman, sinners, and outcasts are healed and loved by him. He culminates his love with the ultimate sacrifice—his life. Everyone knows this story—even the unbelievers. Saying that Jesus loved us enough to die for us has as much emotional impact as saying your mom loves you. We don’t flinch. We can’t comprehend it.
Then if you flip a few pages back to the Old Testament you will see a different side of God.
We see many emotions in God in the first half of the Bible. Sometimes I read it and become fearful. If God can get so angry at the people he loved most then what must he think of me when I lust or lie or gossip? When I read the Old Testament I have a holy fear for the creator. He asked his chosen people to slaughter their enemies—yeah some scary and serious stuff. But his love still makes me scratch my head in thought.
Have you ever read the books of Jerimiah or Isaiah? They were both prophets of God in the Old Testament and when I read their books all I see is love. For example,
“Don’t be afraid. I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
It won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you;
All of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
Trade the creation just for you.”
~Isaiah 43:-1-4 (The Message)
Reading these words makes my heart warm with love. It’s so personal.
The fact that he would love me that much baffles me because I don’t feel worth love. I don’t think a lot of us feel worth God’s love. We say things like, “Jesus loves you,” but we can’t comprehend what that means. We say “God is love,” but don’t let that love extend to ourselves.
You and I, we need to start looking at love differently. The word “love” has become so diluted in our culture that we can say, “I love Jesus,” and “I love cookies,” in the same sentence.
It’s time for us to delve into His love and start a dialogue with God about how we can understand the way he thinks of us better. He clearly states in the above passage of scripture that he loves us enough to pay to keep us out of bondage.
Can you grasp that image?
Imagine saving up to buy a home with your spouse or future spouse. That’s a big investment, right? In God’s eyes buying a house can’t even come close to the price, he would pay for you. He would trade everything he had—just for you.
What’s the most expensive thing you can think of?
Nope—still doesn’t compare to the price God is willing to pay for you. Because he loves you. Yeah—YOU.
I struggle with this. I struggle with the thought that I am lovable. I wrestle with my self-worth.
I need to change my thinking too.
If God loves me enough to buy my freedom then how much more should I respect myself and love myself for who I am?
Do you struggle with believing in God’s love for you?