So guys, today this post is a little different. I didn’t plan on writing about this. Thursday night I laid down to go to sleep, but I couldn’t. I laid in bed wide awake for three hours, so finally I just got up. I stayed up the rest of the night writing this post. God laid these words on my heart, I hope they mean as much to you as they do to me.
Did you know that you are loved?
I’m 20, pretty young by most accounts. One of the biggest things that I struggle with is knowing I’m loved. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely am. I have great parents who love me like crazy, and a lot of good friends that care a lot about me. I hope you guys have some people like that too. But even though I have those people who love me, there are definitely times when I don’t feel loved. Times when I feel very alone, and perhaps even unlovable. I feel a need for a love that I have never experienced.
Have you ever longed for something you’ve never even experienced?
For me I often look for this love in women. I think that’s a pretty common sentiment. Very typical for single 20 somethings to look for a fulfilling love in a potential significant other. However, I think that is a pretty destructive place to look.
Now before I keep writing, I want to make a disclaimer. This isn’t a post just for “lonely singles”. This is not a post designed to trash romance or love. This definitely isn’t a post to tell you to stop dating or loving someone. I believe relationships and marriage are perhaps God’s single greatest gift to us as humanity, besides for Jesus. This is a post designed to let you know that you are loved, loved perfectly. That knowledge, of a perfect love, is important to everyone. Whether you are single, dating, engaged, or married, the knowledge that you are perfectly and uniquely loved will change your life.
So the point of this post?
To change your life.
There was this guy named John the Baptist. He was sent to pave the way for Jesus. He was preparing people for the coming of the Messiah. One day after Jesus had revealed himself, he was passing by the place where John the Baptist and his followers were hanging out. So John the Baptist yells out, “Look! The Lamb of God!” Two of the guys who are following John the Baptist decide to follow this Jesus character. They go walking after Jesus.
Now I want you to really picture this. Here’s Jesus walking down this trail, with two guys following right behind him. Eventually Jesus gets sick of them just tracking him,and He turns around and say, “What do you want?” Picture the two guys shocked a little bit at first. Then they look at the ground, kick the dirt a little bit, look up at each other, kinda shrug their shoulders like “Which one of us is gonna talk?” So one of them decides to speak up.
He says “Rabbi, where are you staying? I’ve always kinda pictured this question like a really shy guy asking out a cute girl.
“Hey, would you maybe want to sometime go out to get dinner or something?” Well don’t worry, because Jesus doesn’t break his heart. His reply is exactly what these two guys wanted to hear.
Jesus says, “Come, and you will see.”
So they go with him and they spend the whole day with Jesus. Now the two guys end up being two of Jesus’s disciples. Their names? Andrew, who is Peter’s brother, is one. The other one? The guy who wrote all this down, the apostle John.
I love this story, it’s a beautiful beginning to the relationship between Jesus and his disciples. But the really interesting part of this story is what it doesn’t say. Now remember this is the first day that John spends with Jesus. You would think he would have a lot to say about it. I would think he would tell us everything about this first interaction with Jesus, but he doesn’t.
I’m sure you have all heard the words “Jesus loves you”. Most people have heard that phrase. We don’t really process it though, we don’t really understand what that phrase means.
I don’t know where you are in life. Maybe you’re lonely and single, perhaps you’re in a happy relationship or in the honeymoon phase of a new marriage. Or maybe you’ve been married for 10, 20, or 40 years or more. I don’t know your story. I do know this though. If you’ve never fully understood the phrase, “Jesus loves you” you’ve never known perfect love.
For me when I hear the words “Jesus loves you” I tune out, I think, “Whatever, Jesus loves everybody”. I think of that phrase like a bad marketing line for a tire store.
“We care about your tires”
That’s why John didn’t tell us all the details of that first day with Jesus. That’s why John leaves his account of that day with the words, “We spent that day with him, it was about the tenth hour”.
Because it was personal.
That day Jesus loved John.
Jesus loved John on a personal level. Jesus knew John’s hopes and desires. Jesus knew who John cared about. Jesus knew John’s favorite color and his favorite food to eat.
Jesus loved John.
The phrase “Jesus loves you” means He loves you. You. It’s not a marketing line. It’s not some intangible, blanket statement. It’s a declaration of the most powerful force on earth.
Αγαπά, the love of the Christ.
This love is unique. In Greek, the language of the New Testament, there are multiple words that are translated to English as the word “love.” In the original Greek the word that is used to describe God’s love for you is?
This love isn’t based on emotion. It isn’t based on how you behave, or how you think. This love isn’t based on what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you. This love is perfect, flawless, and exists only between you and Jesus, regardless of where you are in life, single, dating, or married. The only thing that will satisfy, the only thing that will fill you up, the only thing that is perfect on this broken earth, is αγαπά. If you choose to take this love, if you choose to live in this love, you will experience all of life, and all of love in a new way.
On this earth we can’t find or make perfection. Living in this love isn’t some kind of magic spell to fix all your problems. This love isn’t about a prosperity gospel. This love is about giving you a way to a perfect eternity, and a life with real purpose.
John spent the next three years with Jesus and the other disciples, learning about this love and watching Jesus show this love to all, seeing this love’s most important moment.
The moment when this love held Jesus to the cross.
Today is the day to leave behind the broken and selfish love of this world. Today is the day to leave the “we care about your tires” love behind. Today is the day to accept the phrase, Jesus loves you.
“Ιησούς αγαπά ού”