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  • Nancy Manassero

Jesus loves me. Yeah, so what?

True confession: I know that Jesus loves me, but I mostly know it in my head, not my heart. 

I can quote Bible verses about His love and encourage others to embrace it, but I don't always live like I believe it. Those with deep soul wounds can relate.

If we don't believe we are truly loved, accepted, and valued by our Creator, we can't heal at our core or live into the fullness of who He intended us to be.

Twelve years ago I served as a nurse on Mercy Ships in Togo, Africa. I went by myself, so I was lonely much of the time. I was afraid, because everything was new to me: the ship's systems, caring for pediatric patients, and caring for patients whose surgical cases were outside my experience. 

God used that time of loneliness and fear to draw me closer and reveal my struggle with trusting Him. As I sat on the ship's deck at dusk, He spoke to me in the simplest terms:

Jesus loves you. But this time I heard it in a shockingly different way.




Why Jesus and not some other god? No other god ever told me he/she loved me...not Buddha, or Allah, or Mother Nature, or the universe. No other god took the punishment for my sin... even before I knew him. I didn't ask Jesus to do this for me. But He's the only one who can love me, because He is God, and is the author of love. The quality of loving isn't in other gods.

Why does He love me? He should hate me, because my sin put Him through all that unjust torture. He should lose his patience with me because I mess up every day. He should write me off because I learn His lessons too slowly. Even if I hate Him, He loves me. Who does that? Even if I don't want Him to love me, He will, because to not love me is to not be who He is.

Why does He love me? Now that's a big mystery. I have no idea. I don't deserve it, I can't earn it, I don't live up to it. If I talked to Tom as little as I talk to Jesus on some days, our relationship would be in trouble. But the fact that He does love ME, in spite of all that, makes me feel so valued. He calls me His daughter! How can I NOT love Him back?

Until the day I die, I will try to fathom the depths of such love, and try to love Him as best I can. And then one day I'll see the FACE of the author of love!  In a flash, I will finally understand.

Still today, after 40 years of following Jesus, I still can't grasp the complexity and simplicity of: 

Do you? Ask yourself:

1. Do I believe that Jesus loves me?

2. Do I believe that Jesus loves me?

3. Do I believe that Jesus loves me?

May Jesus' love be more genuine, more palpable, and more valuable to you today as you ponder these truths.

Ultimately, it's His love that heals us and makes us whole.

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