Does Jesus really love us personally? Or does He love us because theologically He must love us, as the Bible says?
Well, let’s examine what He has done for us to answer that question.
Just as one man, Adam, fouled things up by feasting on the fruit of the forbidden tree, so one Man, Jesus, reconciled us to God by dying on a tree. And just as one man’s sin brought forth death to all who would follow—that is, us—Christ gives life to all those who receive Him as their Savior. Yes, just as one man’s sin brought an eternal death sentence to all, one Man’s sacrifice of Himself on our behalf brought a life sentence to all—an eternal life sentence in heaven, full of peace and joy for evermore. As it is written: “In Your (God’s) Presence is the fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11).
So, let us take a look at our lives. Has God not granted us our every heart’s desire when it has brought glory to Himself and was to our eternal benefit? Why, I can’t remember the last time God never granted me the desires of my heart when my heart was in the right place. Or more precisely—when I was right with God.
And when was the last time God didn’t forgive us when we turned to Him for such forgiveness. As the Scriptures say: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
And what happened when we turned to Christ? Did He turn us away because we were so unworthy or too evil to redeem? Did He not say, “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37)? Did He not also say, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16)?
And what happened before we were saved when we cried out to God for help, or even if we didn’t? Why, He helped us anyway. He helped us from hardship, hatred, and harrowing experiences that would have hurt us to the core. He helped us even when we were still wicked, when we were still wanting, and even when some of us, like me, went through withdrawals, whether we asked Him to or not.
And what happened when we received Him as our Savior and were born again and continued in our sins because we still loved them. Why, He was patient with us. That’s what. He didn’t clobber us over the head like some cosmic cop. Rather, He loved us into having a change of heart. As it is written: “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you (us) to repentance” (Romans 2:4). No, we didn’t have to change to accept Jesus as our Savior. He changed us. Over time. And it wasn’t painful letting go of our sinful desires---it was a relief when those desires were gone for good. And no, He didn’t turn us into goody-two-shoes. He helped us put on the right pair of shoes. He helped us into becoming our true selves…the selves we were meant and made to be…the selves He created in His own image.
And how about all the times we gave in to those deadly desires? Did He not promise to never leave us or forsake us—no matter if we committed the same sins seven times in one day or seventy times seven times in one day, as He told His disciple Peter to do (Hebrews 13:5 and Matthew 18:21,22)?
And what about this: Have we ever truly gone without having our basic needs met by the Giver of all good things? As it is written: “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Those Scriptures also say that God blesses both the righteous and the wicked (Matthew 5:45). And who among us hasn’t been wicked at one time or another?
Does Jesus really love us as the kindergarten song says? He does. And He doesn’t just say it. He shows it by blessing us in all our ways. With Jesus, it is always Show and Tell. Thank You, LORD, for You loving us personally, and for Your favor when we accepted You as our Savior.