Welcome, friends, to another week. This has been a very trying week; it is sad how much we depend on technology. When it fails, we feel like a fish out of water. However, God has reasons for everything. This morning, I thought about my friend and ex-mother-in-law, Evelyn. I also thought about this song: "Jesus loves me; this I know for the Bible tells me so."
As children, we often sang the above song in Sunday School. Teachers helped us understand God's love in a simplistic form. However, as we grow, we may not think about his love or recall how it makes us feel. My memory was Evelyn.
Evelyn was a God-fearing woman who had never met a person she did not like. She was kind, considerate, and patient. I had never met her before and was unsure what to think of her. I was also scared that she would not like me. I was brand new to the family as I married her son, who could not travel with me and our child. My mother-in-law welcomed me with a giant hug and broad smile as if she had known me for years. She gushed with pride over her newest grandson and opened her home to us. She treated us with love and much respect. Sunday mornings, her friend drove us to church. Afterward, she always made a meal big enough to feed an army. I will never forget her.
Years later, as I think about her, I understand. Evelyn truly loved God. She treated me as God would, a wayward child who came home. She loved unconditionally, just as God does, without reservations or prejudice. When I think of her love, I think of Jesus. He is loving, kind, forgiving, and merciful. His grace covers all our sins and he does not .
However, the world teaches "get over on anyone you can," which means if someone wrongs you, have no mercy. God teaches us to love him with all our heart and soul, then love our neighbors (Matthew 22:37 and 22:39)
In today's society, love has gone by the wayside. The Bible tells us in Matthew 24:12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. Love is cold. Many do not want to take time with others. Our society has become "all about me," which shows in relationships, churches, and other situations in our world. Did you know that a 2019 statistic concerning love reported these facts- 86% of Americans believe in love? Only 88% of Catholics believe in God's love, and three-fourths of Christians believe God loves us and that he is everywhere.
More surprising is this: (I hate to quote stats, but they give a better picture- depending on the surveyor.) Adults 18-29 (67%) believe God loves them, while 83% of people 65 and older believe God loves them. What a difference! I would be inclined to think some older people have lived long enough to see God work in their lives and are not corrupted by the "all about me" societal norms. If I may, allow me to throw out one more statistic which may explain the differences between statistics. The more educated a person becomes, the less likely to believe in Christ. Only 45% of college graduates believe in God. Fifty-three percent of those with some college education believe in God. However, 66% of people with only a high school education believe in God. What a difference! Therefore, the more educated a person becomes, the less likely they will believe in God, righteousness, or love.
God's love does not depend on our goodness (righteousness, honesty, morality, or worthiness);
What then? Are we better than they? No, in no way. For we previously warned both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10 As it is written, "There is no one righteous; no, not one.
11 There is no one who understands. There is no one who seeks after God. Romans 3:9-11
No one is righteous outside of God's love. Once we become saved from his wrath, our righteousness changes from non-righteous to righteous. God's love is enduring forever and unconditional. He would have never died a gruesome death had he not loved us. (He wasThat was love, my friends. Paul has much to say about God's love. Below are examples of Christ's love for us.
But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from God's love which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39
By this God's love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9
We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
God loves us unconditionally; he does not discriminate. He cares for and loves us with all our faults and sins. Race, nationality, creed, color, or national origins, and religious affiliations are not factors. Otherwise, he could have said, I am only dying for certain people. He died so everyone may have eternal life if they choose. We come to him by faith, believing his sacrifice on the cross, burial, and resurrection. Jesus loves us so much that he died for all. His love was the ultimate sacrifice.
But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 That's love, my friends.
The world can scare the best of us by making us think no one loves us or we are not worthy of love. However, God says, when a child comes to me, I will forgive sins and love you unconditionally. I will not condemn you. He gives us a choice, and like a good father, he does not make us feel guilty or ashamed. Run to Christ.
I hope you have a great week. Please do not forget to visit YouTube for the shortened companion video to this blog. Please email me at mailto:email@example.com or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.orgThanks for stopping by, and have a great week.