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“Always Remember That He Loves You”

“Always Remember That He Loves You”

By Stephen Auman

            “Kami wa sono hitorigo wo tamawatta hodo ni, kono yo wo ai shitte kudasatta. Sore wa mi ko wo shinjiru mono ga hitori mo horobinai de, eien no inochi wo eru tame de aru.” (Yohane ni yoru fukuinsho 3:16, Japanese)

            What is that? What does it mean? Well, one way we might phrase it in English is, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

            It's really nice that God's word has been translated into so many languages, but it seems a little strange to hear such a familiar verse sound so alien and unrecognizable. Then again, how many of us would recognize those words if we could somehow go back in time and hear Jesus saying them? We know He wasn't speaking English, but it's easy to forget.

            But the words did have to be translated for us--many times over, in fact, because language is a complicated and ever-changing thing, and no translation is perfect. And as people try to get things just right, they bring out more and more translations.

            Sometimes, when I come across a difficult verse, I compare a few different translations or look at a commentary. Because every jot and tittle is important, and I don't want to miss anything. Whenever I'm reading from a translation that has a lot of footnotes with little details about different ways a word or phrase might be stated, I read every one of them. Just to make sure. Just in case I need that little extra bit of understanding.

            One night, after I'd been reading a lot of that, I had a dream. I was reading a Bible, and when I looked down to the footnote, it said, "Always remember that I love you." I'm not saying that God was speaking personally to me in the dream, but it did remind me of what He's saying personally to all of us in His word. And it's easy to look so closely at the brushstrokes that we don't see the picture. And isn't that really the whole picture; the whole message of the Bible? God loves us.

            Why did He create mankind? Why did He allow them to exist through so many generations of sin and rebellion? And why did He send His Son to die for us? Because He loves us.

            Jesus said in the twenty-second chapter of Matthew that the first and greatest commandment is, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." And of course this is true. But why should we do this? Because if we don't, He'll destroy us? No. We should really do it because He loves us.

            How does a baby learn to love its parents? By seeing the love that comes from them. It's in our nature. It's the way we were created. If we just look at how much God loves us, and think about it, and believe it, we won't have to try to love Him. It will just happen.

            And Jesus also said that the second great commandment is, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." What about that one? Well, that one also comes naturally from truly loving God. In First John 4:30, we're told that, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God, whom he has not seen?"

            If we do love God, we will naturally want to be like Him. His love will be contagious, and we'll want to love others. Likewise, we should want to obey all of His commandments, because we'll want to please Him. And how do we try to please the people we love? We do things for them. We give them things that make them happy. If we really think about the sincere and abiding love that God has for us, it should be our overpowering wish from the heart to do everything we can to make Him happy.

            Every beautiful thing we see and every good thing that happens to us should remind us of God's love for us and remind us to spread that love to others. The Bible is one of the most beautiful things we'll ever see and the one of the best things that will ever happen to us. And although its meaning can be very complicated and hard to understand at times, one message is very clear: He loves you.

            Always remember that He loves you.

A Moments Wisdom

Men often travel the world in an unsuccessful search for what he needs, only to return home to find it there.

Study the Bible to become wise, believe it to become safe, practice it to become holy.

Criticizing your neighbor’s garden will not pull the weeds in your own.

When the majority of people agree on an idiotic idea, it is still an idiotic idea.

Science is not a sacred cow; it is a workhorse. Don’t worship it; feed it.

If you want to leave lasting footprints in the sands of time, wear work boots.

When we die, we leave behind all we have and take with us all we are.

The best way to cheer up yourself is to try and cheer up someone else.

When you don’t know what you are talking about, it’s hard to know when you are finished talking.

All of our burdens and hardships are merely platforms on which God manifests His grace, power, and love.

A person wrapped up in himself makes a pretty small package.

Consider the wisdom in a hammer: It keeps its head; it doesn’t fly off the handle. It keeps pounding away. It finds the true point and drives it home. It looks at the other side, too, and thus clinches the matter. It sometimes makes mistakes; but, when it does, it starts all over again. (Vern McLellen)

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