For the past nearly 19 months, the concept of God’s love for me has been tailing me like that leaf that is stuck to the bumper of our car. Most of the time I don’t want to shake it, but there are times when I want to. There are times when that voice gets inside my head and tries to convince me that I’m not worth it—I’m not good enough to receive God’s love. I listen more to the voice that points out my faults and insignificance rather than the voice that reminds me of my worth in God’s eyes. God’s love for me exists apart from what I do or don’t do. Even in the midst of all the sin around me (including my vast contribution to it), God remains a God of love. His love for me hasn’t ever changed (nor has His love for you). Christ was crucified because of that love. He went to the cross for me. He would do it again—even knowing what kind of life I’ve lived (and wasted at times).
In today’s sermon, Pastor Efrem Smith spoke about God’s love for us—and the whole world. Spring-boarding off Genesis 4:1-15 (Cain’s murder of Abel), Pastor Efrem gave witness to three ways we know God loves us.
1. We know God is Love because God speaks. Even though Cain’s offering wasn’t regarded by God, God still loved Cain. He spoke to him. He gave him warning of what the sin in his heart could turn to if he didn’t keep it in check. God even spoke to him after Cain had murdered Abel. And He still speaks to us (we just have to be willing to listen).
2. We know God’s Love because God sees us. Later in Genesis 16, Abram is trying to have children with no success. His wife gives him permission to sleep with her servant/slave Hagar to produce an offspring. After he does and Hagar conceives, Sarai becomes jealous and sends her away. God sees this pregnant, homeless woman in the wilderness beside the Spring of Shur. God sees us where we are—even when our life seems to be in ruins.
3. We know God Loves because God saves. In Exodus 3:1-9 God sees Moses and speaks to Him through the burning bush, telling him that he has seen and heard the cries of His people in slavery in Egypt and is sending Moses to save them. And of course, God sent His son because He so loves the world.
I still work on listening to the voice that reminds me of how much God loves me—that I am His child, that no matter what I do He still loves me. I need to ignore that voice that tries to convince me of my worthlessness. I need to surround myself that voices that can speak to my self-worth in God’s sight. And I need to be a voice who speaks to others of their worth as well.
God loves me. Once again I remind myself that I am worth the life of Jesus Christ. I am valuable--He created me with special gifts and abilities and made me unique. Nothing I can do will ever diminish His love for me. The same goes for you.