Wow! Time has really flown by! Weren’t we just remembering 9/11? And now, it is almost the 11th of October!
I promise, you have been on my mind the whole time!
So here’s the deal. Haven’t you had those periods in life when everything is up in the air and no matter how much you try; you can’t catch your breath? The last four weeks have been exactly that for me! Yet in those tiring and tense moments, God always has a way of reminding me to cool my jets, get quiet, and just listen to Him.
The past few weeks, a group of ladies and I from Believers Church were putting together the final details of the He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not women’s event. It was set for October 1st.
And last Saturday, it all came together and went off without a hitch! But we were sweating it there for a few days. Not because God wouldn’t see us through, but because putting events together are just plain nerve wrecking!
We had been planning this one-day women’s event over the last 8 months, and a lot of love went into the details of it. But we couldn’t have done it without Jesus, so we also did a lot of praying!
Saturday turned out to be better than we could have ever hoped for! We had close to 85 ladies there! From the decorations to the catering to the time spent speaking, they got the “wow” experience we had been hoping for! We were there to show them Jesus loves them – and they received the message loud and clear!!
During the day, we watched women come together and sing songs of worship, take time to pray some really earnest prayers to God, and then leave whatever it was that was burdening them at the cross. But at the end of the day, this is what meant the most – 6 salvations! 6 salvations during a women’s event on a Saturday in October!
Friends, God is never limited in where He can show up and touch lives.
Today, I want to share just a portion of my speech from Saturday. It involves a passage of scripture from Ephesians, and it is written by the Apostle Paul.
I love the Apostle Paul’s expression of his understanding of Christ’s love and the transforming power of it.
Paul, formerly known as Saul, came to Christ after meeting Him on the road to Damascus. You can read about it in the Book of Acts. I think I like Paul because, much like me, Jesus had to stop him dead in his tracks to get his attention. Paul, a Jewish leader, sought out Christians and had them severely punished, jailed, or even killed prior to his conversion to Christianity. (And you thought what you’ve done is bad) But after his acceptance of Christ as Savior, he did a total 360. He became the most Jesus-loving, crazy man you ever saw. Instead of inflicting pain, he received the pain; instead of imprisoning people, he became the one imprisoned. Paul is, for all intents and purposes, an outlier in Christianity. He truly gave it his ALL. Why the sudden transformation? Paul finally understood Jesus’ love for Him. Paul didn’t have a transaction with Christ, he experienced a transformation. Christ came in and took root in Paul’s heart and that is the source from which Paul drew strength.
Let’s look at a small section of scripture – Ephesians 3:14-18. Here Paul is writing to the Church in Ephesus, and as he is writing, which I am imagining was feverishly, he was describing the awe he held for God and His plan of salvation for both the Jew and the Gentiles…of this great love God has for humanity as a whole.
And then he speaks these words to them:
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and earth. (verses 14-15)
I love that. There is something so sincere about it. Paul is so overcome by Christ’s love for him and all of humanity. Even though Paul use to fight against the Church initially, he is now overwhelmed…and it brings him to his knees…every…single…time. Has the love of Christ brought you to your knees yet?
Let’s go a little further…
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. (verse 16)
Paul is simply praying for these Christians, still new to the faith, to be strengthened by the Lord, knowing that they like us must tap into the resources only the Lord possesses.
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (verse 17)
Paul has prayed for them to be strengthened and now he is describing the transformation that occurs in a Christian’s heart when Christ is given rule over their heart, which is that we become more trusting of God and we become stronger in our faith because we are growing roots!
And this is the one verse I want you to remember after today.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. (verse 18)
Let those words sink in – how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. Paul is giving us the best description he knows how to explain how limitless and how huge God’s love is for us. But notice we have to be rooted first to grow in this understanding.
Take a few minutes and just evaluate all that you have been feeling lately.
Do you believe Jesus loves you?
Do you believe Jesus can love you?
Those are two very different questions. The first doesn’t require an in depth look at yourself, it is really an evaluation of Jesus. The second question means we have to look at ourselves and find what is lovable. Too many times, we are hung up on what does Jesus love about me. Case in point, how many of you wives have asked your husbands at some point in the relationship, what do you love about me? Right? We want to know why?
With Jesus that answer is very simple – because he just does. Jesus loves everyone, no matter who you are, no matter what your status is, no matter who you know – He just loves people.
Friend, today, I simply want you to know this – Jesus Loves You! Receive it and embrace it!!!
As young girls, our feelings of infatuation for specific boys would rise and fall as fast as ocean waves crashing on the shore. Does he like me? Could he possibly love me? Remember grade school, when we would use the check box method to figure out the answer to this life-altering issue. You know, that little note with the check boxes for yes or no. You would pass that note to the person you liked and wait anxiously for its return! As we grew older, our methods changed and became way more scientific. That’s right, we turned to daisies. Yep, one petal at a time we considered the possible outcome – he loves me, he loves me not. And if the last petal pulled off the flower stem represented he loves me not, we were devastated. Well, at least until we found another daisy and started the process over again!
As Christians, we struggle to understand how such a loving and amazing God could love us. In our spirit, if we are being completely honest, we struggle almost daily with the notion: He loves me, He loves me not. A Chinese proverb states: I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
I hear and I forget. We have heard over and over that we are loved by God. We can recite John 3:16 on demand. However, in our humanity, we so easily forget the depth of the Savior’s love. And when we fail Him, we immediately question whether we are truly loveable.
I see and I remember. The cross is so integral to our faith because at the site of the cross we remember what Jesus did for us. Standing in the presence of the cross, we are reminded what lengths He went to save us and how great His love is for us.
I do and I understand. What really drives home the reality of Jesus’ love for us is when we can share that love with someone else. When we are doers of the word, we start to understand Christ just a little more. In those moments, we are changing and transforming into the person He has created us to be.
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
Today, let’s stop struggling with that question. Let’s resolve ourselves that we are loved -every.single.day. Be encouraged by Paul’s words, a man who stood firmly on the conviction that his Savior loved him:
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. … And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:16, 18 NLT
Ladies, we welcome you to a one-day event October 1st – He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. Come rest at His feet. Hear stories of His great love. Worship with us, and strengthen your belief in the Savior’s love for YOU. http://believerschurch.org/home/whats-happening