He Loves Me. He Loves Me Not. By Scarlett Stough

 

A girl sits pulling petals off of a flower chanting, "He loves me. He loves me not," repeating the phrase until every petal is gone, hoping the last petal will fall on "He loves me." It was a childhood game. Who knows where it started or even where the girl learned it? No matter how old we are, in our heads, we still play the game: "He loves me. He loves me not."

We know the scripture: "God is love." We may even know it was recorded by the apostle John in one of his letters. We know the scripture asserts "For God so loved the world…" But in our hearts, we feel uncertain God actually "loves me." How could God, who knows every thought, every sin, every self-deception, every fear, every angry, hateful word in every heart, "love me?"

Yet, he repeats his love for us, in writing, in books and letters written over centuries of time and preserved for us to read and to be comforted. God wants us to know each person is personally loved.

Moses recorded God’s declaration of love to Israel: "But it was because the LORD loved you.…(Deuteronomy 7:8.)"

In spite of all the troubles he went through and prophesied for Israel, Jeremiah was convinced of God’s love for his people: "Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23.)"

The entire Psalm 107 summarizes the history of God’s dealing with his people and begins the Psalm with a declaration of God’s love, "his love endures forever." In verse 43, we are asked to "consider the great love of the LORD."

We are exhorted in Psalm 118:4 "Let those who fear the LORD say: 'His love endures forever.'"

The Psalmist (Psalm 130) asks, "If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O LORD, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared…O Israel, [put your name here] put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel [put your name here] from all their sins."

This love is revealed by Jesus: "Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love (John 13:1.)"

John wrote: "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10.)" And also, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)"

Paul called those who made up the church in Thessalonica, "brothers loved by God" (I Thessalonians 1:4) and "brothers loved by the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 2:13.) He prayed for those God had called and chosen to come to understand how great God’s love is for us:

I pray that you…may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge---that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19

Jude addressed his short letter "To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ" and added a blessing, "Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance" (Jude 1,2.)

Let us take comfort in scripture that assures us we are loved such as Romans 8:35, 37-39:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

"He loves me. He loves me not." Yes, he does love me!



Volume 12 Issue 6 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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