God Loves You that Much!
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Amazingly, God loves us passionately, and in His goodness He wants us to live with Him forever. So, 2,000 years ago, God Himself put on skin, came to Earth, and gave His very life to atone for our sin and prove His deep love for us. He paid the ultimate price to reconcile us to Himself, and nobody pays that high a price for something they don’t want or value.
Jesus certainly knew what was going to befall Him at the end of His earthly ministry.1 In His anguish in Gethsemane, as He prayed about the trials that would soon befall Him, blood-tinged sweat dripped from His brow.2 And Jesus surely knew very well the prophecy of Isaiah 52:14, “His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.” The Son of Man was flayed to the bone to the extent that He no longer resembled a human being. And that torture was followed by something even worse, the crucifixion itself, the most painful and vile method of execution ever devised.
As Jesus hung on the cross, His Father in heaven “turned away” from Him. Habakkuk 1:13 confirms that God’s eyes “are too pure to look on evil.” And at that moment, Christ cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”3
This is the price God paid for us, and this is how we know that He loves us. Because of this incredible and unwarranted love for us disobedient sinners, we are offered eternal life. Salvation is a gift, given freely for the asking, because of the breathtaking, voluntary sacrifice by the one true God. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Once joined to Christ, nothing can separate us from Him. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”4
Believers in Christ are made new. We understand the depth of His love for us: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”5
You, too, can immerse yourself in God’s eternal love for you and know the certainty of eternal life.—From gotquestions.org6
The wonder of God’s love
Shane Taylor was considered one of the most dangerous men in the UK prison system. Originally jailed for attempted murder, he had his sentence extended by four years when he attacked a prison officer with a broken glass, setting off a riot.
He was put in a segregation unit inside a maximum-security prison. He was given his food through a hatch. His door was not opened unless there were six officers armed with riot shields waiting outside.
Later, he was transferred to Long Lartin maximum security prison, where he was invited to Alpha [a Bible study]. During the course he prayed, “Jesus Christ, I know you died on a cross for me. Please, I don’t like who I am, please forgive me, please.” At that moment he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Everything changed overnight. He said, “I knew God existed, I knew Jesus had touched me and I was going to live for him forever.”
His behavior changed so much that he went from living in total segregation to getting a trusted job in the prison chaplaincy. He started sending money to a charity in Africa. He prayed for the prison officers and for his enemies and, when he came out of prison, he got involved in a church.
Talking to Shane now, it is hard to imagine that he is the same person who terrified so many people in the past. He has experienced the wonder of God’s great love. He says, “Jesus has shown me how to love and how to forgive. He has saved me. He has forgiven me for what I have done. He has changed my life.”…
Through his death and resurrection,7 Jesus makes it possible for all of us to be forgiven and to enjoy the wonder of his great love into eternity.
Lord, thank you for the wonder of your great love. Thank you for your extraordinary generosity. … Thank you that you forgive us all when we turn to you and you give us all the possibility of enjoying the wonder of your great love into eternity.—From bibleinoneyear.org8
The lover of all lovers
Jesus Christ is not merely a philosopher or teacher or rabbi or guru, or even a prophet. He is the Son of God. God, the Great Creator, is a Spirit and is all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere and in everything—far beyond our limited human comprehension. God sent Jesus, in the form of a man, to show us what He Himself is like and to bring us to Himself. And although many great teachers have spoken and taught about love and about God, Jesus was love and He was God—the only one who died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead. He’s in a class all by Himself, because He’s the only Savior. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”9
How can you find out and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ really is the Son of God, the way of salvation? The answer is simple: try Him. Simply humble yourself and sincerely pray and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Ask Him to come into your heart, forgive you of all your sins, and fill your life with His love, peace, and joy.
He’s real and He loves you—so much that He died in your place and suffered for your sins so that you wouldn’t have to.—If you’ll just receive Him and His free gift of eternal life. But He can’t save you unless you want Him to. His love is all-powerful, but He won’t force His way into your life. He knocks at the door of your heart. He doesn’t kick it in or break it down. He stands there gently, meekly, in loving patience, waiting for you to open up and ask Him in.
Will you receive Him? If so, He will be the most precious one in your life, your closest friend and companion, who will be with you always. For He alone is the lover of all lovers, who came for love and lived in love and died for love, that we might live and love forever.
You can personally receive Jesus into your own heart right now by sincerely praying this simple prayer:
“Dear Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I believe You died for me. I believe You’re the Son of God, and I now ask You to come into my life. I open the door and I invite You into my heart. Jesus, please help me to confess You before others that they may find You too. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”—David Brandt Berg
Published on Anchor August 2020. Read by John Laurence. Music by Michael Dooley.
1 Mark 8:31; John 18:4.
2 Luke 22:44.
3 Matthew 27:46.
4 Romans 8:38–39.
5 Galatians 2:20.
7 Matthew 20:18–19.
9 John 14:6 KJV.