Three Powerful Words, “I Love You.”
“I ‘m not sure my dad ever said those three little words to me,” Ed said yesterday. We were talking about saying things today that our grandchildren don’t understand. In the past, people might say that they wanted to hear those three little words. ‘I love you,’ were the words that they wanted to hear. I love you might have been a more powerful pledge of love in bye-gone days, but I love you still packs a punch today. Is, I love you, stronger today than, I hate you? Leave me alone!? It’s my life?
Saying, “I love you” implies receiving the best from the person who said it to us. If someone tells you that they love you, you may not believe them. Love is shown in actions, as well as with words. Loving actions give proof to the words; I love you. Trusting the words, I love you, spoken to you gives them power. Hearing, “I love you,” has no force if you don’t believe the words are true.
When people hear the words, “God loves you!” they may not believe the statement. Responses vary to hearing, “God loves you,” such as: Why wouldn’t He? Of course, He does! I don’t care if He does or doesn’t love me! Not me! He is the only one! Where is God when I need Him? God says that He loves me to control me and rob me of my free will!
Could God love you more than you love yourself? Often, self-love is where we start and end. We may pride ourselves on doing our own thing or doing things in our own way. Do we know as much or more than God? Many like to dismiss God as dead or not existing! Others think the talk of sin makes God harsh, judgmental, arbitrary, and a taskmaster.
Christians know God loves them and that His love is for all people. His love is a gift to those who will receive it and hold it in trust. Jesus lived, died, and arose from the dead to save sinners. That is people who recognize they sin and who cannot stop. Some admit they cannot stop snacking, or that they compulsively shop, or can’t stop working. Can you be sinless? We all sin because we are born imperfect in our spiritual nature. The answer to sin and its hold on us is the freedom that God gives through His love for us in Jesus Christ. Let’s not deceive ourselves and claim to be without sin. It is the blood of Jesus that purifies us from all sin. (I John 1:7,8)
Some prefer to hate rather than love. Some see themselves as the only God they need. They spend their lives getting what they want, believing that they matter most. Some do not love God or their neighbor and are proud of it. Christians try to love God and their neighbor because God has loved them first in Christ. (1 John 4:10,11) “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Hear, and believe that God loves you.