Friday, April 20, 2012

Love, Actually

One thing I know and one thing I have not yet grasped is the same thing: God loves me. Life – all life, my life, your life – starts and ends with God’s love. In John’s gospel, John calls himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved” four times.  It seems audacious until you understand John, above the other disciples, understood something about Jesus the others didn’t fully comprehend. I don’t believe for a second John thought he was loved above and beyond the others, but he understood he was loved.

Peter, often the disciple I find most relatable, was quick to profess and demonstrate his undying love for Jesus but John understood he was loved by Jesus apart from his doing anything to warrant it. He was loved, period. He allowed and received the love of Jesus apart from what he could do in return.

I know this, you do too, probably. But recently my worship times were interrupted and/or cancelled and I’ve felt distracted or completely unfocussed during my Bible study times. And so often when I feel distracted, I give in to the distractions. Then I feel condemned, thinking knowing I’ve neglected Jesus, the One I love. I earnestly want to show him my love and affection but the cycle continues.

Easter came around and my thoughts turned towards the cross and his love for us and I knew I didn’t have a complete understanding of his love so I asked [once again] for him to make my understanding of his love for me new and fresh.

And then, on Saturday, I heard the reminder I needed – a repeat of a message I’ve been ruminating on for the past year. The secret of John – he was loved, beloved of Jesus. Isn’t that a great word, beloved? I am beloved. You are beloved. There isn’t any greater love, because his love is perfect. We could have fresh revelation of his love every day and we will never come to the end of his love. He is infinite and God is love and therefore his love is infinite – there is no end. His love doesn’t waver, it doesn’t increase or decrease; it is perfect.

It doesn’t matter what you do, or don’t do. You are loved.

A few days ago I finished reading a delightful youth fiction, A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s a grand story of defeating evil, the Black Thing with the only thing weapon the character’s had but it didn’t have – love. We love because we are first loved and then truly love conquers everything.

I am so passionate about this message of love I want to give away 3 copies of the message that rocked my world – twice. It’s by Chris Gore, a pastor on staff at Bethel Church. It’s called The Secret of John. The first 3 readers to make a comment will receive a copy. For anyone else, I’d highly recommend making your own purchase through Bethel Church’s online store (click here).

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