Do You Think Jesus Loves You?

Prodigal.

Revelation 3:9 “I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.”

“Do you think Jesus loves you?” The answer to that question makes all the difference in the way we perceive our lives.

“Do you think Jesus loves you?” Isn’t our inability to say “yes” the reason we find sin so appealing? The question was implied in the very first temptation when Satan told Eve, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” “God is holding out on you! He is keeping you down! He is spoiling your fun! He doesn’t love you!” As long as we aren’t sure that Jesus loves us, we will not be sure his commandments are meant for our good. We won’t be able to see the sense in sacrificing our immediate gratification for a code of conduct we find difficult to understand. People turn to alcohol and drugs because they aren’t sure Jesus loves them. People “hook up” sexually with those to whom they are not married because they aren’t sure Jesus loves them. People bail out of their marriages, rebel against their parents, and lie their way out of trouble because they aren’t sure Jesus loves them. If they were sure Jesus loves them, they would trust him when he tells them what they’re doing is hurtful and wrong.

“Do you think Jesus loves you?” Isn’t our uncertainty the reason we find our present circumstances so hard to bear? We instinctively believe that good times are a sign of God’s favor, and that hard times are evidence he doesn’t care anymore. But the Bible teaches us the opposite is often true. Experience should teach us this as well. Almost everything good God ever did for his people came out of hardship, difficulty, and suffering. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Jonah, Daniel, Paul, and many others all learned this lesson by personal experience. They persevered because they knew Jesus loved them. When that is our conviction, then we know that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). Then we can declare that if God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32). Then we can be assured that after we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace will himself restore us and make us strong, firm, and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10).

“Do you think Jesus loves you?” Isn’t our doubt the reason we fear what the future holds? Our fear and uncertainty paralyze us. We convince ourselves we are doomed. We are afraid to move ahead. But if Jesus loves us, will he really stand idly by while our world crumbles and we are lost? Paul once confessed, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18). Not even the future can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Do you think Jesus loves you?” The purpose for asking is not to cast doubt on the fact. It is to remind us of a truth most of us have known for a long, long time. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. In his death for our forgiveness we begin “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18). That gives us courage to live his way now, and certainty we will live in his home forever. Then, he promises, even our enemies will have to “acknowledge that I have loved you.”

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