There was something very different about the Apostle John. Words were said about him that were not said about any other Apostle. In scripture John was referred to as the ‘one whom Jesus loved.’
The funniest thing is that you find that in the Gospel of John four different times and in no other Gospel. It may sound like arrogance to some, to me it sounds like confidence. John had a revelation that Jesus loved him. There was no doubt in his mind that he was the ‘one whom Jesus loved.’ He believed this without reservation.
This God kind of love is agape – a word that didn’t exist until Jesus came along. He is the picture of God’s love. This is the highest kind of love that exists. Agape knows no limits or boundaries as to how far it will go to demonstrate that love. This love will sacrifice itself for the sake of the person who is loved. This love has no strings attached and nothing will turn it away.
This is the message of the New Covenant – God so loved, He gave. You do not have to earn God’s love – it is freely yours. There is nothing you can do, no work you can do to make Him love you more. And there is nothing you can do to make Him love you less. He loves you just as you are and Romans 8:38-39 says that nothing can separate you from that love. Do you know, I mean really know, God loves you?
If you know He loves you, fear won’t be able to reside in you for perfect love casts out all fear. So then why do we have trouble believing God loves us no matter what? Because the love we experience here on earth is often conditional. You have to earn someone’s love here on earth, and you have to earn it over and over. You see this in marriages – someone trying to earn a persons love and they love you that day if everything is going good or if all things are in their favor. We see it in children, always trying to earn a parents approval and love. But this is not agape – agape has no conditions.
Look at a person who is in love – don’t they just look different? They glow. They look happy and free. When you know you are loved you feel different. You feel safe and protected. If you are in a relationship where you don’t know if you are loved or not, you feel vulnerable and unprotected by that person. That is not the God kind of love.
A person knows when they are truly loved that the person who loves them would do nothing to harm them.
The one who they are loved by will protect them at all cost and love them even when they mess up. That is the God kind of love. The God kind of love removes fear from everything, from people, from disease, from failure – because you have a revelation that God loves you. You know that no matter what happens, God will protect you and bring you through to victory. That’s what the entire New Testament is about – God’s love for you!
Psalm 5:12 says that the Lord surrounds us with a shield of His love. That is protection – that is love. Think for a moment, don’t you recall times in your life when you felt so loved that you felt protected, like you had a hero? I know I have and I can tell you that is the best feeling in the world. That is what God has for you, a love that makes you feel safe and protected and like you have a hero. He is the ultimate Hero – He will never fail you – His love will never fail you – Love never fails.
Ephesians 3:16-20 says; that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height– to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
Our strength comes from our inner man so that Christ can dwell in our hearts through faith BUT our roots are grounded in one thing, his love for us. We must know and become intimately acquainted with HIS love for us. To be rooted and grounded in love means to be firm, fixed and established in his love for us – it must be our foundation! Do you know God loves you?
There are many, many in the body of Christ whom I feel do not believe God loves them. I know many who don’t feel God loves them as much as their Mom or Dad loves them….that is so sad to me. The thing I have been most confident about is God’s love for me. It wasn’t always easy because I was raised by a single Mom, my Dad wasn’t around a lot when we were young, therefore to KNOW a father’s love was difficult. But I found this scripture in Ephesians and I began to ask God to show me his love for me…and he did. I am confident he loves me.
Because of that confidence I know he will come through for me, I know he will protect me and my family because of his never ending love for me. Do you know that love? Are you confident in that love? If not, do as I did and pray this scripture over your life until his love floods your heart.
The Bible tells us in the book of Romans that God’s love has been poured out to us. It also tells us that NOTHING can separate us from that love. It is my hearts cry today that you come to know THAT love…the love of Christ…the love of God for yourself.
Let me leave you with this final thought about the Apostle John. John died an old man, he was the only Apostle who lived out his life as an old man. All the others were martyred, John died at a ripe old age. This Apostle knew one thing for certain; God loved him, Jesus loved him. That love sustained him throughout his life. You can know that same love – it’s yours for the taking, for you too are the disciple whom the Lord loves. That same love will sustain you, all the days of your life.
If you do one thing today, determine in your heart to become intimately acquainted with his love.
Let’s look back at Ephesians 3 one more time…for one more awesome promise concerning his love for you; to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. I don’t know about you but I want to walk in the FULLNESS of God…that too come from first knowing his love for us. What a powerful promise – we know his love and we walk in his fullness – that my friend, is my prayer for you today.
As the word says in 2 Corinthians 13:14; may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.