2. JESUS LOVES YOU
Listen carefully to these words...
God loves you and He is reaching out to you right now.
Do you believe this? I hope you do, because many people will pause at this point and dismiss those words as not applying to them. Too many people believe that they are "too bad for God", that God could never love them. We can often end up feeling like this, but the good news is, we can be freed from this feeling by the truth of God's word.
God loves us because he chooses to love us in spite of our failures. He loved us while we were still in rebellion against him, (Romans 5:8) and he will never stop loving us (Jeremiah 31:3).
GOD IS LOVE
God in his very nature is love (1 John 4:8), and when we talk of love we are talking about a relationship. God in his very essence is a relational - Father, Son and Holy Spirit, living in love as a community together, this is the God who made the world and us in His image. We've been created in the likeness of a relational God and so it follows that we too are created with a deep longing for relationship. Relationships are the most exciting aspect of our lives.
Even if we have experienced broken and painful relationships, all of us deep down long for a relationship where we can grow, flourish and find enjoyment in our life. We long for a relationship where we can know and be fully known in a trusting, secure and loving relationship.
Jesus modeled to us just what an amazing thing it is to live our lives with God as our most important relationship. He spent hours, whole nights talking to the Father in prayer, Jesus loved spending quality time with His Father. Christianity is first about a relationship rather than religion, it's about a person more than a philosophy.
It's through coming to Jesus, that we can have the most important relationship of all - with the God who made us and loves us.
CREATED FOR RELATIONSHIP
Nicky Gumble in his booklet called 'Why Jesus?' put it like this "You and I were created to live in a relationship with God. Until we find that relationship there will always be something missing in our lives. As a result, we are often aware of a gap. One rock singer described it by saying: ‘I’ve got an emptiness deep inside.’ A woman, in a letter to me, wrote of ‘a deep deep void’. Another young girl spoke of ‘a chunk missing in her soul’. People are often aware of a sense of emptiness to their life, like something significant but elusive and difficult to describe is somehow missing.
So how can we have this relationship? What is the way? Jesus said: `I’m the way to that relationship. I’m the way to find the purpose for which we’re made.’
He said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
MIND THE GAP
The Bible describes God as the perfect loving Father who wants desperately to embrace his lost children (Luke 15). Until we find that relationship there will always be something missing, a gap in our lives. We can live our lives apart from God, but we are often aware of a gap.
Without a relationship with God, we can feel hollow and empty inside - people are seeking 'that something', that 'missing ingredient' that will fill the void in various ways. Some seek to fill this gap with money, possessions, career success or affirmation. Others with excess alcohol, drugs or sex. Some may try to drown out the sense of emptiness through escapism be it film, computer gaming or something. Some are aware of a need for fulfillment spiritually and become fascinated by false religions, witchcraft or the occult.
These various different paths may offer some temporary pleasure but none of these things lead us on a path to right living, peace or joy. They can never able to satisfy the hunger we experience deep inside. Worse than that they can lead us very quickly into a place of darkness, hopelessness, and despair. If you have been down one of these roads you know this is true if you are there now, friend - there is good news!
Jesus loves you!
We don't need to live with this mixture of desire and discontent without fulfillment. According to the Bible, the reason for this sense of emptiness is that men and women have turned their backs on God (Isaiah 53:6). As a result, we hunger and thirst and no matter what we may try, we will not find what we are looking for in the world. What we really need can't be acquired with money and it is no nearer to the person who is rich, famous or powerful, than it is to the poor man.
Freddie Mercury, the lead singer in the rock group Queen, had amassed a huge fortune, attracted thousands, probably millions, of fans. But he admitted in an interview shortly before his death that he was desperately lonely. He said this:
`You can have everything in the world and still be the loneliest man. And that’s the most bitter type of loneliness. Success has brought me world idolisation and millions of pounds, but it’s prevented me from having the one thing we all need: a loving, ongoing relationship.’
In the midst of our hunger and thirst Jesus invites us to come to Him.
John 6:35 says, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
Jesus is the only one who can satisfy our deepest hunger because he is the only one who makes it possible for our relationship with God to be restored.
The phrase eternal life is often mentioned in the Bible and while it does speak about a life that goes on forever, it primarily speaks about a higher quality of life, a life lived in relationship with our Heavenly father - this is the life that we all long for.
The Bible says "this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." - John 17:3
God showed his love for us by giving up what was most dear to him so that relationship could be restored and we could have this life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
To help us understand more, let's watch this short film, the click to move to step 3.