“He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not….
He Loves Me!”
January 07, 2018 A.D.
by Pastor Ben Willis

January 14th, 2018 by mdevita

ELDER: ISAIAH 43:1-4 [NLTse]

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord Who created you. O Israel, the One Who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. 2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4 Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to Me. You are honored, and I love you.


Someone recently challenged me to change my life and my marriage and my family and my work and all my relationships, and while I’m at it to change the world. They challenged me saying that, if I did it, everything in me and around me would be so dramatically better that I would forever look back at this moment and decision in awe by the transformation that occurred.

What was the challenge? Be loved by God.

Initially, after such a big build-up, the challenge disappointed me. After all, I know God loves me. The truth is, I count on God loving me. I’VE INVESTED MY WHOLE LIFE IN SUCH A LOVE AND SUCH A GOD.

But it’s the kind of challenge that stuck in my head, and that I’ve found myself coming back to, and coming back to again.

It’s said that the biggest distance in the universe is the distance between a person’s mind [pointing to my head] (and what they intellectually give assent

to) and a person’s heart [pointing to my chest] (what they love and live for and will die for). [Pointing to my head,] I know Jesus loves me, but my preoccupation with the challenge got me wondering, [pointing to my chest] do I really know Jesus loves me? Do I let Him love me? Do I receive His love for me? Do I allow His love to seep into the nooks and crannies and core of who I am?

For many people, letting God love us and receiving His love is hard. Many of us have learned that love is only offered with conditions: If we’re good enough, if we’re smart enough, if we’re pretty enough, if we’re likable enough, if we’re … whatever enough, enough, enough… It can be hard, and even terrifying to stand before God Most High, just as we are, with all our pride and sin and anger and shame stark and laid bare before Him. To come out from where we’ve been hiding and drop the fig leaves we’ve covered ourselves with can be the most terrifying thing we ever consider; the hardest thing we ever do: To stand naked and exposed before the Holy! Holy! Holy One of Israel! What if He rejects us the way others have?

Except He won’t.


14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in Heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

20 Now all glory to God, Who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish

infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to Him in the Church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.


The Bible pictures our Abba’s love for us in a variety of very homey ways.

For instance, the city of Jerusalem is often prophetically-used to speak of the Church. (As we talked a little about last Sunday when, in The Revelation, John draws everyone’s attention to the Bride of Christ, picturing her as “the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (21:2)

Well, about Jerusalem, the prophet Isaiah speaks for the Lord: “See, I have written your name on the palms of My hands.” (49:16) Like a lovesick school-girl, Almighty God has written our names all over His hands!

Another down-to-earth image the Bible uses is, again, from The Revelation, when the Lord Jesus writes a letter to the Church in Philadelphia. (Not our “Philadelphia” here in Pennsylvania. This “Philadelphia” was in Asia Minor, modern-day Allah-Shehr in modern-day Turkey.) He writes to them, “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of My God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of My God, and they will be citizens in the city of My God—the New Jerusalem that comes down from Heaven from my God. And I will also write on them My new name… (3:11-12)

Don’t you love it? He writes our name on Him and He writes His name on us: Like Andy did to Woody and Buzz, his favorites! Like my kids did on their favorites. Because when you write your name on something it means, “Mine!”

And yet, let’s not fall into thinking that Father’s love for us is merely some warm-fuzzy, feel-good emotion. No. Because the Bible doesn’t just tell us

that God loves us, the Bible also tells us that God is love!

God doesn’t love us because we are deserving or worth it or for any other reason that has anything to do with us whatsoever. No. Scripture makes clear that God loves us out of His Own nature. It doesn’t matter whether we feel as though God loves us or not. It is true that God loves us because love is an aspect of His nature, His character; it is a part of Who He is and what He is. God’s love for human beings is a cold, hard fact because God is love!

Just as gravity doesn’t care whether or not you want to end up on the ground when you fall out of the tree: It is gravity’s nature to bring all things to the ground! The water in the lake doesn’t care whether or not you want to get wet when your friends throw you into it: It is the nature of water to completely soak what is in it!

Likewise, God does not care whether or not you want to be loved when you are conceived and born into the world as a human being: It is the nature and character and being of God to love you, you human being! God doesn’t take us into account whether or not we are love-worthy. There’s no such thing! God loves us because that’s what He does, because that’s Who He is: God is love.

But do you believe that? Do you [pointing to my heart] truly believe that? Do you believe God sees you, and says, “You are Mine. Your name is tattooed on My hands. I have chosen and adopted you to be My child. You belong to Me, and you always will”?

Do you make space and time to be still and hear and take into yourself this message? Do you make time in the morning, at lunch, or late at night to let God’s love invade your heart, your mind, your soul, your strength? Do you make time to get away with Him to just listen and believe?

What if you let yourself be loved by God? What if you dared to believe His promises were true?

ELDER: JOHN 3:16 [NLTse]

“For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”


C.S. Lewis once wrote: “To please God… to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness… to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son – it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.” (The Weight of Glory)

ELDER: ROMANS 8:31-39 [NLTse]

“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 Jesus 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 are hungry, or are poor or in danger or are 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! No power in the sky above or the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to

separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord!”

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