Thursday, 27 November 2014

How much does God love you?

Q. How much does God love you?

A. Jesus.

You might be having a bad day, and, when your mother tells you that she loves you, not even that helps, said Smithville Christian High School's spiritual life director, Gord Park.

"Because that's her job," you might retort.

That's true, Park told students at the Thursday chapel of Spiritual Emphasis Week. But there is one friend who loves you because it was his choice: Jesus.

Park quoted Jesus from John 15:15: "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends."  

Park told a story of an 11-year-old boy who was undergoing chemotherapy, and whose classmates all shaved their heads to match his.

"They identified with their friend, they chose to be with their friend," Park said. In the same way, Jesus becoming human was God identifying with you, choosing to be with you, he said,

"He didn't have to do it, but he chose to take on my sins and my shame. Why? So we could have atonement, so we could be at one with God."

Jesus atoned for all our shortcomings so we can stand in perfection before God for all eternity, Park said, but it's not just about what happens after we die. It's about who sits enthroned in your life right now.

"We don't become Christians to go to heaven, we become Christians to bring heaven to earth," he said.

The point of Jesus' resurrection is to change your life right now, "so you can live in the resurrection power today, to experience all that joy today. He wants us to know his joy, to live with creativity, whatever you do.

"You were created to live and love this life, to drink deep and seize the day."

But there's more, he said.

"Love Jesus in such a way that you are empowered to love others."

Park read 2 Cor. 13: 4-7.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Park said he doesn't get very high marks for succeeding at that kind of love, "and most of us are not going to get a gold star." But the point is Jesus loves like that, and when we have Jesus in us, we can love like that, he said.

"My goal to is to be committed to Christ in such a way so that I can live out his commandments.

"How great is our God? He chooses you to take it all on the cross and he chooses you to live in love. Receive all the benefits of his marvelous grace and then share."

In friendships, in dating relationships, in family relationships "don't just give your love, give His love."

"How great is our God? He chooses you, he loves you, he identifies with you.

"Believe it.
"Receive it.
"Share it."

A student praise team led in worship with "Not Ashamed," "The Stand," "Holy Spirit" and "Build Your Kingdom Here."

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