Published on March 13, 2014
God Loves You Caféchurch Melbourne 11/3/14
Cultural Question • What words would our culture use to describe God (and, specifically, the “Christian God”?) • What does our culture think God wants from us?
First Things First The first, primeval, basic, fundamental fact is this: God loves us.
How Do You Know God Loves You? • Why do you think God loves you? (There are no wrong answers to this, btw)
Three Ways of Thinking About This • Theologically – What does it mean to say this as a Christian? •Spiritually / Experientially – How do I come to know this at increasingly deep levels of myself? • Transformationally – God’s love is transformational – the best evidence is the life transformed into Christlikeness
Jesus The classic Christian answer: we know God loves us because God draws near to us in the person of Jesus
Questions About Jesus • What sort of things did Jesus do? • How did he relate to people? • What sort of stories did he tell?
God Reveals Godself •“He is the image of the invisible God…For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things” (Colossians 1:15, 19-20a) •Because Jesus is God’s image, he reveals to us what God is like
God Is Nice and He Likes Us The difficulty of the phrase "God loves you" is that it is to hard to approach, too overladen with solemnity, with thought. Try this on for size: God likes you.
The Work To truly understand that God loves you is a life's work, and it takes all the resources of mind, emotion, spiritual discipline - everything to fully grasp this one, transforming fact: That God does in fact love you.
You are Lovable God sees things as they really are. If God loves you, if God finds you lovable, then it must be the case that you are, in fact, lovable.
Quick Note About Sin Obviously I’m not downplaying sin, alienation, the general brokenness we all carry. But, no matter how much we attempt to break God’s image in us, God’s love for us is logically prior.
If We Knew God Loved Us • Some features of life if we really believed God loved us – Freedom (was anyone ever more free than Jesus?) – Finding our identity in God, rather than toys and status (“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work” John 4:34) – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)
Obligatory C S Lewis Quote “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” (C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity)
Takehome Question What would I be like if I really believed that God loved me?
God Loves You. God Loves You – How Can You know? God loves you! How can I know? God wants you to know, and believe, and feel, and see that He loves you.
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Es gibt jemanden, der dich liebt! Es ist Gott! Für ihn bist du wertvoll, er sieht dich und kennt alle deine Sorgen! Er hört dir zu! Gibst du ihm die Chance?