This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.1 John 4:10 (NLT)
The three words that are hardest for most people to say shouldn’t be. I mean, how hard is it to say “I love you” to someone? Why do we get tongue-tied and all nervous before we tell someone that phrase? It’s like the feelings and brain get all mixed up and the words get jammed in our throat as our brain screams “Red alert! Red alert!”
I believe I have an answer to this. It’s because, in this life, rejection is a real thing and it happens quite often. Think about it. How many movies use the premise of rejected love? How many of them put a plot twist into the romantic relationships to make the audience question whether or not the character’s love is true? Of course, this is Hollywood. It’s fake. We can separate fiction from real life, right? Rejection is also very real in our normal, day-to-day lives. Maybe we come from a split home, or a home where our parents fight, or fought, all the time. Love seemed to be absent. Maybe we were the ones always picked last for teams on the playground. Perhaps no matter how hard we try we can’t manage to get a grade higher than a C or D in math. Then there are the special times. The time when you manage the courage to say “I love you” but the other person doesn’t say it back, or doesn’t feel the same way. In other words, our lives are full of rejections.
So, imagine a God whose very character is pure love. Everything He does and says is born out of an unimaginable, unconditional love for us humans. In fact, His disciple John put it this way, “This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” The cross serves as a giant banner to you and me which reads “I Love You!” Notice too, He didn’t do it because we said “I love you” first. He did it knowing that so many of us may never say it back. He did it facing the fear of rejection from His own creation because His love, true love, for you and me wouldn’t allow Him to hold anything back.
So, here’s my challenge to you today. Say it back. How many times in your prayers do you say thank you, and please, and even the word “Lord,” but never actually utter the words, “I love you to Jesus?” In reality, it’s like He’s saying “I love you,” and your reply is “Thanks.”
Today, and every day, practice literally saying “I love you” to Jesus. He’ll never reject you.
To listen to this Daily Dose episode, go the the Podcasts Page and click on your favorite podcast platform.