true Love

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I have been a social worker for about four years, now. And I consider it an unbelievable privilege to sit across from someone and have them bare the entirety of their souls. As I have sat with client after client, eye to eye and heart to heart with their pain, there is something that I have observed when it comes to the source.

Most of them do not feel loved. Most of them do not feel worthy of love. Which leads them to destructive behaviors, which has major consequences in their lives.

My hope and prayer is that those who feel this way, especially with Valentines Day tomorrow, know and understand that this is a lie. Regardless of what season you are in, if you feel unworthy of love, there is someone that loves you so deeply and fiercely that His love is uncontainable, uncontrollable, and unending.

Jesus loves you.

Those three words pack such power, yet are so overlooked in our busy culture.

So let me back track.

God, who is so large and so vast, that our finite minds cannot even begin to understand Him, created humans, in His image. He wanted a perfect life for us. But sin came. It came and broke our relationship with Him. And from then on, we were separated.

This perfect and holy God cannot stand to be around sin or even look at sin. Because He is so pure. But, though the relationship with humans was broken because of sin, He loves us so much, He gave us ways to connect with him. For thousands of years and generation after generation, God’s chosen people had to give offerings, usually in the form of clean animals.

when he realizes his guilt in any of these and confesses the sin he has committed, he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation for the sin that he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat, for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.And the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven. (Leviticus 5:5-6,10).

This was done for purposes of atonement. To wash the uncleanliness away. Sins are so dirty to God, that approaching Him as an unclean person, as a person full of sin, would kill you. Sin causes death. Meanwhile, there were prophecies that a Messiah was coming. That someone was going to save these chosen people. And they waited patiently.

Until God decided to put on a human “Earth suit”, put on flesh, and come down from heaven and come to our small, minute, insignificant planet. He came as Jesus. Jesus walked amongst the people. Jesus taught the people. Jesus healed the people. Jesus gave hope for the people. And because God is perfect, Jesus did not sin. He was pure. He was clean. He was unblemished. Just like the animals that were sacrificed for the sin offering.

And then, Jesus, being holy and clean, decided to BE the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the past, present, and future. He CHOSE to die for you and for me. I believe that there could have been many ways this could have played out. In Luke 22:42, Jesus stated, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Jesus knew what was coming. He knew what was about to happen. He even asked God to remove the situation. But Jesus also knew what the sacrifice meant.

And so He died. For you. For me. For US. God sacrificed his only Son, of whom he was pleased, so we could LIVE and be reunited and have an unbroken relationship with Him.

That’s what true love looks like. And here’s the thing, Jesus loved me before I loved him back.  His love for me never stopped and it never will. As much as I rebel. As much as I turn away from him, he is always there.

He loves people who ignore him. He loves people who do not acknowledge him. He loves us so much He has given us freedom and a choice. Because love is never about force.

One of my favorite quotes by Beth Moore is, “God knew everything I did and would do, and yet He still called out my name.”

What I desperately want you to know is that you are loved.

Through the addiction, you are loved.

Through the depression, you are loved.

Through the abortion, you are loved.

Through the sexual immorality, you are loved.

Through the lying, you are loved.

Through the cursing, you are loved.

Through the gluttony, you are loved.

Through the greediness, you are loved.

Through the pride, you are loved.

Through the anger, you are loved.

Through the idolatry, you are loved.

Through the envy, you are loved.

Through the rebellion, you are loved.

He will never stop pursuing you, when no one on this Earth will. He will never stop holding you, when no one on this Earth will. You will never stop being HIS.

12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. 13 And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.

14 “Look, the highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the Lord your God. 15 Yet the Lord chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you, their descendants, above all other nations, as is evident today. 16 Therefore, change your hearts and stop being stubborn.

17 “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. 18 He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. 19 So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. 21 He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes. 22 When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky!

-Deutoronomy 10: 12-22, NLT

Stand proudly, chosen one. You were not just chosen for Valentines Day, but all the days of your life.

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