Friday, March 25, 2011

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know!

      The famous Swedish theologian, Karl Barth, was once asked what he consider the greatest theological truth he had ever known.   The audience waited, expecting to hear something that would need further explanation.  Something deep and profound.  His answer: "Jesus loves me, this I know, because the Bible tells me so."  The audience was shocked, but applauded his sincere simple answer.  He knew that if we don't grasp that simple but powerful truth, we will miss it all. 
      I don't use a lot of Scripture in my blogs because I want to remain conversational and I seldom blurt out Scripture in my general conversations.  However, this week is the last week we will be on the How God Shows Us He Loves Us part of the journey.  So I want to give you an opportunity to help me write this blog.  Here's how it works.  I want you to think of a story in your life when you were clearly aware that God was saying to you, "I love you!"  Try to put that story in a single paragraph and post it in the comment box at the end of this blog.  If you do not know how to leave a comment, select anonymous and type your name at the end of your comment.  In addition to or instead of the story, share your favorite verse about God's love for you. 
     I'll get us started.  In Ephesians the third chapter, verses 14 thru 21 Paul prays for the church at Ephesus.  It is an interesting pray because of the simplicity of prayer.  Three things mentioned in this passage that sheds some truth about God's love that is more than the wonderful warm fuzzy feeling of simply knowing God loves you.  In verse 17 we see that having an understanding of God's love, anchors us.  Being rooted and established in His love brings stability to our lives.  When there are tough times we will find a solid footing, simply by understanding His love for us.  Not only finding a firm footing, we also find power linked to an understanding of His love.  Power comes from being firmly planted in the assurance of God's love for us.  It is not power for ourselves, but rather something we share together (v. 18).  The rest of verse eighteen and verse 19 is one of my favorite verses on God's love.  How wide, how long, how high, how deep is God's love.  The idea is that we are encompassed with His love.  No matter what we are going thru, we face it being totally surrounded in God's love. 
       Paul wants us to grasp just how "big" God's love is.  That is why he uses dimensions that carry the idea of vastness.  Paul says this is more important to understand than having knowledge.  It is not knowledge that brings us into a vibrant relationship with God.  There are a lot of people who have a knowledge of God, but not a relationship with God.  Paul says when we rest in His love, we will begin to experience the fullness of God.  That is incredible!  His love roots us, empowers us and fills us with all God has for us. 
      That is why we have spent two months talking about how God shows us His love.  Without understanding and being secure in His love, we become nothing more than fleshly encyclopedias.  It is experiencing His love that pumps us full of life, gives us purpose and meaning. 
      Please take time to share your favorite "God's Love" verse or story.  I look forward to reading them.  Remember, God loves you and that is why it is exciting to JOIN THE JOURNEY.

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