"God loves you!"
Wow. Those are only three words, but they are very powerful words. In fact, until you fully grasp those three words in your heart, you won’t be able to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength!
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (Romans 5.8)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3.16)
I love what Max Lucado wrote: "If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart. What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that Friday at Calvary. Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you." (Max Lucado)
Our Response: Passion!
"We love because God loved us first." (1 John 4.19)
I believe we must be passionate people, passionate about God and passionate about the people God created/Jesus died for, especially “the lost, the least, and the lonely”!
"The life of following Jesus "is a life fueled by passion—a passion for God and a passion for people." (Erwin McManus)
"God is seeking worshippers who will be ready to follow the adventurous whispers of His Holy Spirit." (Matt Redman)
We love God by trying to honor God in everything we do — attitudes, words, and actions. We love God by how we treat others. And we honor God by spending time with God and nurturing a devotional life (beyond "Our Daily Bread" and "Upper Room").
We love people through our actions, not just our words. Words/attitudes (saying, “I love you!") are important, but actions are even more important!
"We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. That’s why we must give our lives for each other. […] Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it. When we love others, we know that we belong to the truth, and we feel at ease in the presence of God." (1 John 3.16, 18-19)
"And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart." (Ezekiel 36.26)
O God, help us to know and experience your love, deeper and deeper every day! And may our response to you be hearts full of love and passion! Amen.