Do you remember this song? When I was growing up in church this is the song I would sing. It’s interesting when looking back how I would sing it but I would never really think about what it really meant. In my head I knew the story of Jesus and how he died for me but I didn’t know it in my heart. One day it dawned on me how really powerful this simple song was. It wasn’t just a bunch of frivolous words, He (Jesus) Loved Me!!! He didn’t base His love for me on whether or not I performed perfectly, did everything absolutely right all the time, that I never wavered in my doubts of who He was, or that I was strong in the midst of the most fiery trials. He loved me for me in all of my failings, weaknesses, fears, doubts, insecurities, and imperfections. Thus, my journey began of discovering His Love and how amazing His Love truly is.
When I lived in Washington I worked at The City Church and my job was to clean the sanctuary. I would pick up the trash, straighten things out, and make the sanctuary look really nice for the services. I would be in the sanctuary for hours cleaning, so I always would bring my headphones with me. Sometimes, I would listen to music and if no one was around I would sing at the top of my lungs. Other times I would listen to teachings. I also had times where I would pray and talk to God. One time I was having a conversation with Him and it went like this:
Me: I love you!!!
God: I love you more!!!!
Me: WELL….I LOVE YOU FIRST!!!!
God: No, you don’t!
Me: Yes, I do!
God: No, You Don’t!!
Me: YES, I DO!!!
God: 1 John 4:19, We love Him because He loved us first.
Me: AAAH!!! YOU WIN!!!!
Obviously He made the point very clear I was loving Him in return because of Him loving me first. So many times it’s easy to forget that He just wants to love on us. I remember the first time that I saw the movie “The Passion Of The Christ.” The movie is based on the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life. The movie depicts what He might have experienced. In reality though, what He went through was much worse. I want to show you a little clip of the movie to give you a glimpse of what I am talking about.
Jesus: “See, I am making all things new!” – Revelations 21:5
“He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.” – 1 Peter 2
As, I watched Him be beaten, spit upon, whipped with leather straps that had shards of metal and glass attached to it, I couldn’t help but cry as these scriptures began to flood my mind.
Isaiah 53:5, But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so. Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him. He endured the breaking that made us whole. The injuries he suffered became our healing.
Hebrews 12, Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.
Then it hit me so clearly the joy awaiting him was me. He endured all the pain, all the suffering, all the accusations of the enemy for me so that I would no longer be separated from Him because of sin.
You are His Joy. You are the reason that He went through a tremendous amount of pain. The joy of being with you was greater than the pain that He endured.
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”-Romans 8
He is standing before you not condemning you, but He is standing with His arms open wide waiting for you to let Him love you. Open up your heart to Him and receive it! He’s not concerned with what you may have done wrong. He died and took those things upon Himself so that you might be free. So that you would be able to have a relationship with Him, and receive all that He has to give you. His Love Is Unconditional And It Is For You Take Hold Of It!!!