August 28, 2008
P.S. I Love You... Period.
by Meghan Kleppinger
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Okay - I admit it. Initially, it was difficult for me to understand that God loved me, and that He sent His son to die for my sins, and that He cared about the most intimate details of my life.
I was nearly nine years old when I accepted Christ. My mother was a new believer and our family became her mission field. She would read stories from the Bible and Christian biographies at night to her three girls.
I shared a bedroom with my older sister, a preteen, so we had different bedtimes. One night, when I was supposed to be asleep, I listened with eyes closed as my mother shared a story with my sister. It was the biography of a lonely teenage girl who turned to witchcraft as a means of finding acceptance, and only after a lot of prayer from a friend did she turn to Christ.
As I listened to the story unfold, I recognized the loneliness this girl felt, as well as her need for a Savior. That night I prayed to receive Christ as my personal Savior. In Jesus, I discovered, I would have a forever friend, something I desperately longed for as a frequently uprooted military kid.
The next day, as I thought about telling my mother of my conversion, I was afraid that she would be upset with me… after all, she was reading to my older sister and the story wasn't meant for me.
Needless to say, she was far from upset, but for a long time I could not shake the feeling that I was an add-on. What I mean is that I felt like God extended His grace to me because I happened to be here with all of the people He really loved. It was sort of like He was saying, "I love all of my creation… oh, and P.S. Meghan, since you're here I might as well love you too." The funny thing is that I was okay with being a tag-along as long as it meant I was saved and got to have Jesus for a friend.
I'm not sure if it was time, experience, spiritual maturity, or all three, but slowly I began to understand that God loved me, period, and not just too or in addition to…. Through scripture, I learned and came to accept the most amazing thing of all, that He would have sent Jesus if I were the only person left on earth!
As an adult who has grasped this truth, my heart is burdened as I consider how many people have a hard time believing that Jesus loves them.
We live in a hurting world full of people desperate to know that someone loves them and cares. A recent study showed that an overwhelming number of Americans feel they have no one to confide in.
As believers, we know a loving God who does listen, plays an active role in our lives and will never leave or forsake us (deuteronomy 31:8). We know a compassionate God who delights in His children (nehemiah 9:17). We know a God who understands our pain and holds every tear we've cried (psalm 56:8). We know a God who sent His son to live and die so we might live (John 3:16).
We know our Father and of His eternal love.
But do they?
Let us live our lives in such a way that not only reflects His love for us, but shows others that they are undeniably and wholly cherished by the Creator of the universe who calls them His beloved… period.
Intersecting Faith & Life: John really put it well when he wrote, "By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 john 4: 9-11).