For some time I have wanted to do a devotional blog, and for various reasons, some legitimate, some not, I have put this blogging endeavor of mine on hold. I have tried to figure out what I wanted my first post to be about. Then, I heard someone say something that really stuck in my brain. Last week at my meeting for UMHB’s Ministry Leadership Council, different students were sharing their takeaways from going to Passion 2015 at Houston. The message that stayed with me as I was hearing students share their experiences was this… God loves you for who you are, not what you will become or what you strive to be, but God loves you just as you are!
For all of last week, I thought about this statement. Too often, it can become easy to forget the fact that we can come to Christ as we are and He will welcome us. Even with all of our baggage, weaknesses, and struggles, we can bring our imperfect selves to Him because He loves us. I also thought that with Valentine’s Day coming up, this would be a perfect topic… God’s love for us!
As some of you who are reading this may know, I have different health problems such as Crohn’s disease which essentially causes my stomach to hurt every day. Often, these health problems can make life more difficult than I would like. With exams and book reviews and a lot of reading for class, these health problems can sometimes add even more stress.
But one thing I got out of other students sharing their Passion experiences was that God loves me for who I am and that is what I should focus on. Would He love me if I didn’t have to deal with these health problems, would He love me if I didn’t commit the sin that I do in life? Of course He would. But the beauty of His love is the fact that He loves me for me. He looks at my broken, sinful self and tells me, “I love you!”
This reminds me of one of my favorite songs, one that is probably sung at nearly every church and worship event from time to time: How He Loves…
He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me
And oh, how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us all
Yeah, He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves
And we are His portion and
He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking
And Heaven meets Earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets When I think about, the way…
I absolutely love everything about this song. As I thought about how Christ loves me for who I am, I focused on these lyrics. “He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane. I am a tree.” Perhaps, I never stopped to think and focus on the truth in these lyrics. He is jealous for ME, not who I want to be, not who I would be if I were perfect or without scars, but for who I am today! To know that He loves me so much that He is jealous for me and yearns for my focus on Him, how powerful is this truth!
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree… Jesus loves me so much that His love is like a hurricane. His love is so powerful, so wonderful, so mighty and overwhelming. If we were strong trees firmly planted in the ground, His love would be so powerful that it would pull us from our roots and bend our strongest branches. His love is unfathomable. Sometimes we take for granted just how much He loves us. If His grace is an ocean we’re all sinking… I could go on, but the point is this: He loves us for who we are!
He loved us so much for who we are that He sent His son to die for us. I cannot begin to imagine the suffering Christ endured, but He suffered as a sign of His love for us.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
God loves us so much that He gave His only son for us. Whether it be on Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year, remember this:
Jesus loves you for who you are!
David Crowder Band. How He Loves. David Crowder Band, 2009. K-Love. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.
New King James Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.
How He Loves by the David Crowder Band:
Jesus Loves Me by the Gaither Vocal Band: