For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Most everyone knows John 3:16 and can quote is by heart. Today I want to not just know it by heart, but know it TO HEART. There is definitely a difference than “by heart” and “to heart”. “By heart” means that we can repeat it and have it in our memory. “To heart” means that we have taken it to our heart the true meaning of this verse and it brings us immeasurable comfort, joy, and peace.
I asked a group of teenage girl’s what love means to them. The list included, kindness, caring, forgiveness, gentleness. They said it was a feeling, an emotion, that we have towards another person. When we started digging deeper into our emotions, we realized that our emotions change constantly all day long. Our emotions are so sporadic and scattered that we cannot rely on them to carry out the necessary task of loving someone. So rather than love being just an emotion, we realized love is a choice. It is something we choose to do. We make a conscious effort to accept another person for who they are and treat them based on our choice to do so and not through the emotions that we have in their presence.
God’s love for us is a choice. God doesn’t love us on a whim or whatever good or bad thing we have done that day for him. God chooses to love us every day whether we are in sin or not. God sent his only son to pay for our sins. This required his son to experience fear, anxiety, pain, loneliness, betrayal, bullying, embarrassment, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and mental abuse. Jesus went through all of this to pay the cost for our sinful nature we are born into. Our sin, His sacrifice.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Romans 5:8-9
Even when we were sinners, God chose to love us. Commendeth means to take a stand; to exhibit favour. He took a stand and showed the whole universe just how much he loved us! Not on a whim of emotion that will change with the passing of time, but as a choice that is constant and never changing. He took a stand for us, and sent his son to take our place for punishment. That is how much he loves us!
We are not a whim in Gods eyes. God chooses to love us every day, without fail, and within our sin. We can’t say that of ourselves. Someone hurts us, or makes us upset and we take our love from them and move on. God just keeps coming back over and over to prove his love for us!
One last thought for you to think about this week. God chose you just as you are, covered in sin, covered in shame, covered in regret. The person you are that is broken, confused, hurting, not worthy, arrogant, proud, and maybe even hard hearted. God chooses every day to love you!! Not for what you have done, but simply for who you are! You are his creation, his reason for existence, his joy, his sorrow, his pain, his victory, his peace, his adoration. You are all these things to Him and if he had to do everything over again, he would still choose this path of creation and sacrifice! He would still choose you!