Even when we weren’t looking for God’s love, or didn’t even know it existed, God poured out the full measure of His love for us through His Holy Son Jesus. Each one of us is so precious and valuable to our God that He shook our world by first entering among us and, then, by sacrificing His Son to pay for our sins. Through this love-sacrifice of Jesus, the sting of death and the power of sin have been shaken off from each of us who believe. For all eternity.
This is how God showed his love among us: God sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – 1 John 4:9-10
I would love to tell you that I fully understand this incredible, passionate, holding-back-nothing love of God. But I don’t. I can’t grasp it in its entirety. At least not on this side of heaven. Yet, in the deepest core of my being, my mind and my soul, I know this is truth. And this truth has totally shaken my world. And my heart has been stirred back to life!
To Christ’s unlimited love and passion, I can only respond (and did and, by the grace of God, always will) with: Yes, Lord, I believe You. I believe You love me. I believe that You, Lord Jesus, You died for me. You died for my every sin. You alone are my Savior. In You alone I am forgiven. In You I am set free from all the holds of evil and hurtful things in my life. In You alone I have life. And You chose to do all of this because You love me.
Please don’t read that too quickly. It’s not meant to sound like gag-me-with-a-spoon, Christianese language that flows like well-rehearsed religious lines without any real power. No! The power behind these words of accepting God’s love for me – even when I didn’t, and still don’t fully, understand God’s incredible, shake-my-world-up and stir-my-heart kind of love – is the very same power of God that moves mountains, heals the brokenhearted, sets the captives free and raises the dead to life!
Jesus shook my life. Shook my thinking. In my world-view (which was far too well-established by age seven) I knew that I was not loved, and certainly not special enough for anybody to love me. I couldn’t be. Not with all of the abuse, the screaming, the incest, the guns, the knives, the fear, the hatred, the hurt, the anger, the evil, the sickness that came at me. Even as a very young child, I had clear and well-founded evidence that I was not, and probably never would be, loved. But! Jesus Christ, the Lord of heaven and earth, the Sovereign God over everything that exists, moved the mountain of my fear, hurt and hate to shake my world and stir my heart! The Eternal God loves me so much that He gave up all His comfort to comfort me.
The Holy One of God loves us all so much that He gave up His life to give us a new life. Beginning immediately and lasting for all eternity! Jesus Christ chose to be taken captive by the cruelty of this world in order to set us free from its power. Our God enters right into our messy lives to shake our worlds and stir our hearts with His love, grace and truth!
May we each let God’s love shake us up and stir our hearts so that we will live in His love and share His love – His outrageous, unfailing, unfathomable love – with others!