Cindy Grasso is the Discipleship Pastor at Cape Christian in Cape Coral, Florida. She has been married to her fun-loving husband, Bobby Grasso for 28 years and is the proud mom of two amazing young men who keep her updated on all things tech. She likes to spend her free at the beach or a WDW with family. She loves nothing more than a good book, a good friend and good cup of coffee.
“You are always and dearly loved by God! So robe yourself with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others.” Colossians 3:12, The Passion translation
Apparently, it is hard for humans to believe that we are always and dearly loved by God.
The New Testament repeats this sentiment over and over again – you are loved by God.
Now live like it.
Live from it.
Make God’s love your wardrobe.
Wear all it’s styles – mercy, kindness, gentleness, unoffendable love.
If God is not offended by your brokenness and humanness, how can you be offended with others?
Wear His love like a warm coat in the winter.
Wrap it around you.
Make it the decision maker of your day.
Make it be what people first notice about you.
May the always-there-love-of-God direct you to immerse yourself in the power of kindness, mercy, goodness and faithfulness as you go about your day.
“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.” John 15:9, The Passion Translation
Jesus spoke these words to his friends right before He laid down His life for them.
Can you imagine how God the Father loves God the Son?
It must be amazing to be that secure in how God feels about you.
Jesus experienced the love of God every moment of every day with nothing hindering it.
That didn’t mean His life was without pain or trial.
On the contrary, the life of Jesus was full of pain, fear, anger and loss.
He wept. He yelled. He made people angry -so angry, in fact, that they plotted to kill Him (and did).
Yet, He lived loved.
He fully offered all He had and all He knew.
It’s the same love.
The same love God has for Jesus, He has for us.
Generous, strong, real, glorious love.
Jesus offers this same unrelenting love as the nourishment we are meant to draw from as we live each moment of our lives. The good and the bad times, the amazing and the heartbreaking times, the sweet and the bitter times.
Every single one.
God’s love doesn’t change towards us according to what is happening to us. It is the fuel that gets us through it all.
May this same love be a balm to your soul today as you face whatever realities life is bringing to you.
“This is love: He loved us long before we loved him. It was his love, not ours. He proved it by sending his Son to be the pleasing sacrificial offering to take away our sins. Delightfully loved ones, if he loved us with such tremendous love, then ‘loving one another’ should be our way of life!” 1 John 4:10-11 The Passion Translation
We are loved long before we love God.
However, it seems to me that the majority of the time, we are trying to grow our love for God instead of living in the expanse of God’s proven love for us.
We work hard to do the right things instead of simply resting in the righteousness of Jesus, the rightness of Jesus.
He was right with God, He sacrificed Himself so we could be right with God. It’s done.
That is it.
That is love.
When we stop striving to be good enough for God to love and simply receive the unearnable love of God, it feels like a gift.
Because it is.
Are you living loved or striving for it today?
You are accepted right this minute. You are forgiven right this minute. You are delightfully loved right this minute.
Receive the gift of being ridiculously loved right this minute.
Then love someone else in the same way God is loving you: ridiculously, completely and luxuriously.
May the luxurious love of God for you transform the way you see yourself and treat yourself today. Then may it spill over onto everyone else.
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” John 3:16-18 Message Version
Found on poster boards at football games and tucked into the edges of cups at In and Out Burger (or at least they used to be, I haven’t checked lately), this compact verse holds the essence of God’s heart.
It is about His love.
His love for you, for me and for whoever you see today, wherever you go.
It is so familiar that our own hearts can skip over the awe-inspiring wonder of it: God loves this world and every person in it, so much so, that He gave of Himself. He sent a representative out of his own house to set the record straight about who He is.
God loves, forgives, restores, reaches out and meets people where they are, wherever they are.
He comes to us long before we come to Him.
He loves us first and we respond to this amazing, self-giving, capitol Love.
Jesus did not come to condemn but to rescue.
Who? Me and you and everyone.
That is truly good news.
May you allow the wonder of this all encompassing love reinvigorate compassion for yourself as well as for every other human being you interact with today.