Have you heard Jill Scott’s song “Lyzel E Flat?” She talks about how he loves her…differently…specially…especially different.
God loves us like that. In fact, there’s a church-companion, if you will, to that song. And the chorus goes like this:
He loves me.
Oh – how he loves me.
Oh – how he loves me.
Oh – how he loves me.
You know, I heard a teaching on God’s love recently that really blessed me. So I wanted us to take a little time to talk about and reflect on that love today.
We all know the scripture. It’s John 3:16. It tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
But for a minute, let’s look at that same verse in the Amplified version. It reads this way: For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave up his only begotten unique son, so that whoever believe in, trusts in, clings to, relies on Him shall not perish, come to destruction, or be lost, but have eternal everlasting life.
The part that I wanted to look at was that word “begotten.” But more than that, I want to look at the word that follows that in the Amplifed version: unique.
To be unique means that you’re one-of-a-kind. There’s no one else like him. No twin, no duplication, no copy, no clone. You’re the only one.
Now that idea of Jesus, Son of God, being unique is important because it really puts a scope on God’s gift and love.
How many of you have ever been invited to a party, or maybe played that secret santa game at work. And you have to provide a gift.
Well, I won’t call any names, but I know some folks who are only comfortable offering as gifts things they already own, things they won’t miss, things they maybe have two or three of and they can part with.
You know, you pick the gift that’s still nice but maybe it’s been lying around for a while, or someone gifted to you and you never really liked it, or maybe it was just easy.
I think a lot of us have been guilty of giving gifts that we wouldn’t want back or that we hope we never see again.
But get this, all of the silver, the gold, the diamonds, the money, heck, even all of the stars belong to God.
He could have easily given any of those to pay the ransom for our sin-sick souls, but He didn’t.
He chose the one thing that meant the most to Him, the one thing that once He gave He’d have no more, the one thing that would cost Him something, the one thing that He loved dearly. He chose THAT THING – His only son – to give.
Yeah, He could have given the silver, the gold, the money, the stars, or whatever, but there are so many of those things that He’d still have plenty left over.
No – and we’re thinking back to John 3:16 now – God loved us SOOOO much that He gave the only thing that would cost Him everything.
That’s deep y’all, get that in your spirit. He didn’t give what was convenient, He didn’t give what the world would prize. No He gave of Himself the one thing that He’d feel, the one thing that would prove His love.
I mean, any parent I know couldn’t even fathom giving away one of their children to anyone for anything.
So just think about giving away your son or your daughter to pay someone else’s tab!
I mean, He loves us THAT much y’all!
Ain’t that good to you? Don’t that make you want to shout?
But that’s not all.
By giving us His son, God proved that He loved us.
See the scripture says that God so loved the world. Let’s pause there for a second, because that word “so” means that this ain’t no ordinary love. (Cue the Sade song…”This is no ordinary love. No ooooordinary loooove.”)
This is the difference between telling someone you’re hungry, and then telling someone you’re SOOOO hungry. It’s that kind of love y’all.
So yeah, the scripture tells us that God SO loved the world THAT.
Now let’s stop there, because that THAT means that He didn’t stop at telling us. God didn’t stop at giving us lip service, at just whispering sweet nothings, at saying the right thing. He took the extra step of taking an action to PROVE that He loved us.
I tell you what, we tell folks we love them so much these days that in some ways the word is greatly watered down.
And beyond that, for those we tell, there are but a few folks we tell AND THEN PROVE that we love them.
And then we can whittle that down even further by saying there are even fewer folks that we tell we love them, go further by acting to prove it, and in doing so give them something we prize more than anything else in the world.
Look, I don’t know what you’re up against. I don’t know what you’re facing, but I know the enemy is whispering lies in your ears.
He’s telling you you ain’t nothing, you ain’t never been nothing, and you ain’t gonna be nothing. You ain’t never gonna make it, you’re forgettable, unimportant, un-impactful, unnecessary, don’t matter to no one, the world would be better off without you, you don’t amount to nothing and you don’t contribute nothing to society.
But I’m telling you right now that God paid the highest price EVER just FOR YOU. The price He paid just so He could call you His own and love you and give you a life and a future was so high there is nothing in this earth that could match it.
And I don’t know about you, but I don’t pay for junk.
I dare you to tell the devil to go back to the pits of hell from whence he comes.
I dare you to declare that you are the apple of God’s eye. That you’re favored. That you’re prized. That the Lords thoughts of you are like the number of the grains of sand.
I dare you to pop your collar, do a little dance, and say, “Jesus loves me soooooo much!”
You ain’t got to love me. Heck, you ain’t got to like me. But Jesus loves me soooooo much!
God loves you.
God love you.
God LOVES you.
GOD. LOVES. YOU.
And there ain’t nothing no devil in hell can do to stop it, separate you from it, or change.
For God so loved YOU and ME that…He gave His only son, he blesses us, favors us, keeps us, provides for us, prospers us, protects us, loves us, corrects us, directs us, guides us, talks to us, walks with us.
If you don’t remember anything today, take joy in this: GOD LOVES YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!