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My friends the Lord loves you…

November 5, 2016

“My friends the Lord loves you…” That is just one phrase from 2 Thessalonians 2.13, but it probably says all that needs to be said. Said to me, to you, to the people around us, to our world, “My friends the Lord loves you…”

I look around me every day and I see so many people that do not know that they are loved, not really. I go into schools. I look at the happy successful children and almost all of them are children that very clearly know that they are loved and cherished. I look at the children who are disruptive, violent or self-harming and almost every time they are very clearly children who do not know that they are loved. Indeed, they feel unloved, neglected, irrelevant; they are hurting and they need love. Yes, I also agree that they need discipline, but they also need love, real love, and I don’t think that the two are incompatible.

I look into myself and I see both. I see a small child who knows love and is happy and loving. I also see a small child in me that feels unloved and abandoned. Both are there and the whole of me needs to know that I am loved. Sometimes, people show me that they care. However, my ministry also requires me to do and say things that will not always be popular. Everything can just become too much, too much effort, and what’s the point anyway. My life can feel grey and lifeless – that little unloved child in me becomes very real. I’m not moaning or griping, it’s just a fact.

Then it is verses like 2 Thessalonians 2.13 that I need to hear. I need to hear, and feel inside, the truth of Jesus saying to me, “My friend the Lord loves you!” That is the message at the heart of my faith: I have turned to Jesus and I’ve found that God loves me.

A few verses earlier Paul warns that this world is not perfect and the “wicked one” is very real. Going astray is a constant danger, even a reality for most of us. So, I am concerned about the things that I do wrong, not out of guilt, but out of love. Paul’s warning needs to be heard because the wrong things that I say and do cut me off from God, they limit my ability to be loving, they hurt me and they hurt the people around me. It is the love of God, poured into me by the Spirit, that makes me want to be more loving. Paul makes this point better than me a few verses later in verses 16 and 17 where he says, “God our Father loves us. He is kind and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father will encourage you and help you always to do and say the right thing.”

I read again and I see the flow of thought: Love first, love then leads to encouragement and help, finally love results in the hope of always doing and saying the right thing. I really wish that I could always do and say the right thing. Life would be so much better! In reality I can only manage to do and say the right thing for a fraction of the time. But Paul’s words encourage me and help me too. They remind me that it isn’t about me, it is about God. It is about God’s love for me from before I was even born. It is about the love I’ve discovered when I discovered Jesus. It is about the love that is pouring into me from God through the Holy Spirit.

In short, I may not be perfect, but I am perfectly loved. I am loved, loved and loved some more. In return, nothing is asked, nothing is required of me. But I have found that I’ve become very leaky. I’ve found that love poured into me keeps leaking out. It leaks out to the people around me through the things I do and say.

This sort of love isn’t just for nice words and feelings. It has changed my life, so I try to share the love I’ve been given with those I meet, in school, in church, in the street; wherever I am. After all, if I need this love so badly, I’m pretty sure that they do too.

So, for myself and everyone on this planet I say, “My friends the Lord loves you…”, receive it, live it, and you’ll see what I mean.

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6 Comments
  1. It is the only thing that holds life together really…God’s love.

  2. Dianna permalink

    Tin bath in front of the fire. First out of three in the bath. Clean vest followed by liberty bodice. Now that’s love. Thanks mum 😍
    Such a shame we have to grow up and face a world of neglect and selfish ambition. Then our Saviour seeks us out and finds his lost ones and here we are loved again. Perfect.

  3. Jean black permalink

    Very. Interesting and thought. Provoking.

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