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God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

Think back to that first time when someone revealed their love for you. The way I remember the dating scene is you met someone. Something attracted you to each other, and you began to do things together. At first, it might only be going out on the weekends, with a phone call or two in between. After a while, you both realize an increasing desire to spend more time together, and the attraction strengthens. If you have been seeing other people, you decide it will be a committed relationship. All of this happens before those three intimate, life-changing words are spoken. Then BOOM! There it is; one of you says it aloud, “I love you.” Though all the indications were there, what was hidden had been revealed.

Since day one, God had let the people know he cared for them. However, they had been a frequent disappointment–showing up late for dates and failing to answer and return phone calls. Sometimes they pursued other gods, and often they were commitment-phobic. That did not change God’s love for the people. He was a persistent wooer.

His coming to earth in human form was the consummation of the relationship. It was broadcasting “I LOVE YOU!” to the world. God has made the proclamation loudly and resolutely. But as in a human romantic coupling, we must respond, “I love you, too.” For there to be a relationship, there must be a commitment by both.

So far, the analogy has been that of romantic love, but that is incomplete when discussing God’s love. When we become coupled with Christ, we understand what love is, the perfect love that Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes, hopes, and endures all things.

As God’s beloved, we are to reveal this love to others. What we have is too wonderful not to share. We desire for them to enjoy the same relationship with Christ that we have.

Father God, thank you for saying “I LOVE YOU” to us through your Son, Jesus Christ. Through him, we understand what it means to love you in return and to love others. We confess we don’t say it often enough; God “We love you too.” May others see your love in us. Guide us by the Holy Spirit in living and sharing the love revealed to us with everyone. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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