Love Me

 

Love is the universal emotion and desire. We are born wanting to be loved and we soon love the ones that we were born to. We quickly learn to expand our love circle, if you will. We quickly learn there is sometimes a certain magic in the word itself. We quickly learn the word is greatly over used and used somewhat indiscriminately. In fact in many cases the word has lost its meaning and impact. That is a shame because the Bible makes it clear that love is not trivial and not to be used carelessly. In fact the Bible declares that, God is love.

*   (1 John 4:8 NIV)  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

*   (1 John 4:16 NIV)  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

 

Whether it is admitted or not everyone wants to be loved. Some people pretend otherwise and some people might as well wear a sign that says, “Love me.” If we are honest we all could wear that sign. Even God wants to be loved. The second of the Ten Commandments puts it like this.

*   (Exo 20:1-6 NIV)  And God spoke all these words: {2} "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. {3} "You shall have no other gods before me. {4} "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. {5} You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, {6} but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

God, personified in Wisdom

*   (Prov 8:17, 21 NIV)  I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. (Prov 8:21 NIV)  bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.

Jesus made the same point we see in the Old Testament.

*   (John 8:42 NIV)  Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.

*   (John 14:15 NIV)  "If you love me, you will obey what I command.

*   (John 14:24 NIV)  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

In John 21:15-17 we find a very interesting conversation between Jesus and Peter.

*   (John 21:15-17 NIV)  When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love (Agapao) me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love (Phileo) you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." {16} Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love (Agapao) me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love (Phileo) you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." {17} The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love (Phileo) me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love (Phileo) me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love (Phileo) you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.

Notice that although Peter is quoted as saying that Jesus used the term “Phileo” three times in fact Jesus only used the term once! The two terms have very similar meanings and are often used interchangeably. Peter knew what he believed and was willing to stand by it. You may recall the vision Peter had where God asked him to eat unclean things.

*   (Acts 10:11-16 NIV)  He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. {12} It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. {13} Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." {14} "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." {15} The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." {16} This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

The point here is that Peter knew what kind of love he had for Jesus and clearly he considered Phileo the better of the two words used. Apparently he was right because as in the case of the vision he is neither corrected nor reprimanded.

 

Moving on we could use a song title to describe the next example of love me, “The things we do for love.”

*   (Gen 29:32 NIV)  Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now."

*   (Judg 14:16 NIV)  Then Samson's wife threw herself on him, sobbing, "You hate me! You don't really love me. You've given my people a riddle, but you haven't told me the answer." "I haven't even explained it to my father or mother," he replied, "so why should I explain it to you?"

Here is the last example of the phrase, Love me.

*   2 Cor 12:15 NIV)  So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?

Paul is here explaining all he did for the Corinthian church and is feeling that his love is perhaps not appreciated. Unrequited love is love that is not reciprocated and can hurt deeply. So when God repeated calls for our love and finds it is not appreciated fully I think it probably breaks his figurative heart!

 

The question is not does God love us. The question is do we love God?! See just how much God loves us.

*   (Rom 5:8 NIV)  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

*   (John 3:16 NIV)  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

*   (Jer 3:6-17 NIV)  During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. {7} I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. {8} I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. {9} Because Israel's immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. {10} In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense," declares the LORD. {11} The LORD said to me, "Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah. {12} Go, proclaim this message toward the north: "'Return, faithless Israel,' declares the LORD, 'I will frown on you no longer, for I am merciful,' declares the LORD, 'I will not be angry forever. {13} Only acknowledge your guilt-- you have rebelled against the LORD your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,'" declares the LORD. {14} "Return, faithless people," declares the LORD, "for I am your husband. I will choose you--one from a town and two from a clan--and bring you to Zion. {15} Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. {16} In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land," declares the LORD, "men will no longer say, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. {17} At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.

You are destined to fulfill the prophecy in these verses. God found a way to redeem His bride. You are the bride of Christ. Do you long to be loved? Do you long for that eternal relationship with, not only your King, but with your savior, redeemer, and soon to be Husband? He has cried out for centuries, “Love Me.”

 

Twelve times the words, “Love the Lord your God” are written in scripture here is the first.

*   (Deu 6:5-8 NIV)  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. {6} These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. {7} Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. {8} Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

 

Let’s answer the Lord our God’s plea to Love Him for He loves us more than we can say or know!