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February 3, 2014

February 3, 2014

Archbishop of Hamburg,
missionary to Denmark & Sweden, 865 

"You're Alive Because God Wants to Love You"

“Long ago, even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.  His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.  And this gave Him great pleasure.”  Ephesians 1:  4 – 5 NLT

In this month of love we’re beginning a series about love, God’s love for us and our response to that love.  I hope it will broaden your experiences and enjoyment.

A while back a man came into Pastor Rick Warren’s office and said to him, “I’m a Christian but I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere in my spiritual growth.  I’m kind of stuck in neutral.”

Warren asked, “What do you think the problem is?”  The man replied, “I think my problem is I just don’t love God enough.”  Warren looked at him and replied, “That’s not your problem.  Your problem is not that you don’t love God enough.  It’s that you don’t understand how much He loves you.”

You see, love is always a response to love.  John said it this way in his epistle, “We love because He first loved us.”  The He who loved us is God.  When you say or feel, “I don’t love God,” it’s because you don’t understand how much He really loves you.

Let’s start at the beginning:  God is love.  Love is the essence of His nature.  He’s the only reason that there is love in the universe.  Only those made in the image of God can love.

The reason you are alive today is because God wanted to love you.  We often get goofed up in terms of talking about our purpose in life.  We think our purpose is to first do something.

God says our first purpose is to be something.  Service, obedience, trust are important, but the first responsibility we have, the first purpose we have in life is to be loved by God.  Without that love everything else is meaningless.

Let that sink in for a moment:  your first duty is not to do anything but to be, to be loved by God.  Paul says it as clearly as possible in Romans 1: 7, “Dear friends in Rome.  God loves you dearly, and He has called you to be His very own people.”

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don