Psst… God Loves YOU!
By Marcia Greenwood

Many Christians and non-Christians alike know the famous banner, which is seen at many sports events. This banner quotes the Bible verse John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

But, these words are usually rattled off our tongues like a machine gun. Now, it is great to know what the scripture says - but do we really know deep within our hearts what the words truly mean? It's sad to say that many do not!

God so loves YOU! Loves - Present tense. Include yourself with rest of the world. Say your name when you read this verse.

So much that He freely gave His only begotten Son, Jesus. Anyone who believes on Jesus will be saved and will spend eternal life with Him forever! Wow!

God sacrificed His Son for you and I, so that He may gain us as His children.

I heard a meaning of this great sacrifice just recently: God sacrificed Someone irreplaceable, so valuable, for someone who may never understand or appreciate what He did for them. And, to top it all off - God knew that some would never receive this gift that was so freely given from the Father.

Jesus followed in His Fathers footsteps. He lived His life loving others and so should you and I. Jesus was a servant, a giver. He was willing to give without expecting anything in return. This is called (agape) unconditional love. Human nature's love usually expects something back or at least recognition for our giving.

The New Testament Commandment is summed up in Love God and Love Your Neighbor. Do all things out of love.

Our relationships must be based on this (agape), God kind of love.

Each of us will have many opportunities in our lifetime where we can reach out and give to others in love.

Are you in the midst of family problems? Then why not be the first one to 'reach out' and give love to the family. Your love for them does not have to be based on how they treat you. But we should treat them the way God treats us. Give to others and expect nothing in return. Allow God to change their hearts towards you and the situation.

Has someone gossiped about you lately? Most all of us has either been the recipient or the provided of gossip. If you find yourself getting wrapped up in juicy gossip - then quit. Run away from sin. Don't dwell on the bad points - dwell on the good things. The Bible says to esteem others better than yourself. It's not our job to change everyone anyway. But it is our job to love.

One of the 'hardest' areas to turn around and forgive and walk in love is when you have been "stabbed in the back" by someone. This one really hurts!

The Bible says that Jesus "died for you and I, while we were yet in our sins."

We are commanded to not retaliate - let God be the avenger. But instead, we are to pray for others, yes pray, for our enemies.

On the cross, Jesus told the Father - not to put this to our account. Jesus freely gave, every day of His life - even to the last drop of His blood for us!

God so loved the world. As Christians we need to reach out and do the same!