For some of you reading this, you have known the love of Jesus your entire life. At a very young age, you accepted His great gift to you and your life has never been the same. Even armed with that soul-saving knowledge, it is good to be reminded: Jesus loves you. He loves you with an everlasting love. A love so great it spoke light and life into existence. Jesus loved you yesterday, He loves you today, and He will love you every tomorrow you will ever have. My prayer is that you will rest in that knowledge. That you will hold the hand of your Lord and never let go. And that you will walk forever in His paths of righteousness.
Perhaps you find yourself in a different group. At some distant point of your life, you accepted His love for you. But time, loss, grief, and your own decisions have turned your heart away from His love. No matter, He still loves you. That’s not entirely true, it all matters. Every step in your life that has taken you away from the faith of your childhood matters. Those steps have been destructive in ways you will never fully realize. Even so, if you choose today to return to the one who gave His life for your eternal soul, all those steps are cast into the depths of the sea. A sea so deep there is no bottom. My prayer is that you will flee from the sins of your youth. Turn your heart to Jesus and He will embrace you as a father embraces His long-lost child.
Maybe for you, Jesus is a complicated knot of negative and hurtful emotions. Perhaps your only interaction with Jesus has been through the poor facsimile of His followers. Or those who claim to follow Him. You have been wounded by ungracious, uncaring, and unforgiving words and actions wielded as weapons by those who call themselves Christ followers. If this is your story, I am sorry. I am sorry for all the hurt that has been caused in the name of Jesus. Trust me when I say that whether by ignorance or self-righteous vindictiveness, those slings and arrows are not the work of Jesus. Unquestionably, Jesus is holy and righteous. But He is never unkind. He is never ungracious. And He always stands ready to forgive. My prayer is that He will reveal who He truly is in your life. That He will move in the hearts of true believers to reach out to you and show you what His love is in reality. Jesus loves you. I pray that love will find you right where you are.
Or just maybe, Jesus is nothing but a fiction to you. You’ve heard the stories. You read them yourself. but you are unconvinced. To you, Jesus is at best a fantasy invented by desperate people desperately clinging to something that will give their lives purpose. If this is where you find yourself, Jesus loves you. Right now, that doesn’t mean much to you. I understand that. Just know that your unbelief does not lessen His love for you. He is calling out your name. Right now, He calls to you. You have many hurdles to clear before you can accept this truth. That’s okay. Jesus is patient. He has the answers you need. My prayer is that you allow your preconceptions to be challenged. That you will encounter the true Jesus; not the one culture, skeptics, and philosophers have constructed. I pray that you will find yourself face to the face with Jesus, much like Saul on the road to Damascus, and that the scales on your eyes and heart will fall away.
Jesus loves you. On this day when we celebrate romantic love, I pray that you will turn to a love more pure, more lasting, more transformative than anything you can imagine. All other loves are but a pale reflection of that great love. Seek Him and He will make Himself known to you. His mercies will be new every morning and His love will never fail.
The love of God is greater far Than tongue or pen can ever tell. It goes beyond the highest star And reaches to the lowest hell. The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win; His erring child He reconciled And pardoned from his sin. Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made; Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky. O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure— The saints’ and angels’ song.1