Yes, God loves even you

I write this specifically for one person whom I love.

The Christian’s authority to act and speak on behalf of God

The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me...Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10: 16, 19, ESV).

The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do (John 14:12-14, MSG).

Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven” (John 20:21-23, NLT).

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:18-19, ESV).

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18, ESV).

God will forgive anyone their sins

This statement is completely reliable and should be universally accepted:—“Christ Jesus entered the world to rescue sinners”. I realise that I was the worst of them all, and that because of this very fact God was particularly merciful to me. It was a kind of demonstration of the extent of Christ’s patience towards the worst of men, to serve as an example to all who in the future should trust him for eternal life (1 Timothy 1:15-16, J.B. Phillips).

But if we freely admit that we have sinned, we find God utterly reliable and straightforward—he forgives our sins and makes us thoroughly clean from all that is evil (1 John 1:9, J.B. Phillips).

Peter said, “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.” (Acts 2:38-39, MSG).

God’s love for everyone, even you

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything (1 John 3:1, 16-20, NLT).

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first (1 John 4:7-19, NLT).

The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh!  The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy!  I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.  I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.  I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin (Exodus 34:6-7, NLT).

Then God ordered me, “Start all over: Love your wife again, your wife who’s in bed with her latest boyfriend, your cheating wife.  Love her the way I, God, love the Israelite people, even as they flirt and party with every god that takes their fancy” (Hosea 3:1, MSG).

We each must die and disappear like water poured out on the ground.  But God doesn’t take our lives.  Instead, he figures out ways of bringing us back when we run away (2 Samuel 14:14, CEV).

I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me.  Make yourselves at home in my love.  If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love.  That’s what I’ve done – kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.  I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.  This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you.  This is the very best way to love.  Put your life on the line for your friends.  You are my friends when you do the things I command you.  I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning.  No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father (John 15:9-15, MSG).

Let me give you a new command: Love one another.  In the same way I loved you, you love one another.  This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have for each other (John 13:34-34, MSG).

But even though we were dead in our sins God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, gave us life together with Christ – it is, remember, by grace and not by achievement that you are saved – and has lifted us right out of the old life to take our place with him in Christ in the Heavens.  Thus he shows for all time the tremendous generosity of the grace and kindness he has expressed towards us in Christ Jesus.  It was nothing you could or did achieve – it was God’s gift to you.  No one can pride himself upon earning the love of God.  The fact is that what we are we owe to the hand of God upon us (Ephesians 2:4-9, J.B. Phillips).

Since then it is by faith that we are justified, let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have confidently entered into this new relationship of grace, and here we take our stand, in happy certainty of the glorious things he has for us in the future.  This doesn’t mean, of course, that we have only a hope of future joys – we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles.  Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us.  Already we have some experience of the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us.  And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men.  In human experience it is a rare thing for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man, though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it.  Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us (Romans 5:1-8, J.B. Phillips).

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves.  Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.  Now we call him, “[Papa], Father.”  For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.  And since we are his children, we are his heirs.  In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.  But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.  Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later (Romans 8:15-18, NLT)…It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail.  And it is plain, too, that we who have a foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension, while we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that at last we have realised our full sonship in him.  We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven’t yet got.  But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience.  The Spirit of God not only maintains this hope within us, but helps us in our present limitations.  For example, we do not know how to pray worthily as sons of God, but his Spirit within us is actually praying for us in those agonising longings which never find words.  And God who knows the heart’s secrets understands, of course, the Spirit’s intention as he prays for those who love God.  Moreover we know that to those who love God, who are called according to his plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good…In fact of all this, what is there left to say?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He that did not hesitate to spare his own Son but gave him up for us all – can we not trust such a God to give us, with him, everything else that we can need?  Who would dare to accuse us, whom God has chosen?  The judge himself has declared us free from sin.  Who is in a position to condemn?  Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us!  Can anything separate us from the love of Christ?  Can trouble, pain or persecution?  Can lack of clothes and food, danger to life and limb, the threat of force of arms?…No, in all these things we win an overwhelming victory through him who has proved his love for us.  I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 8:22-28, 31-35, 37-39, J.B. Phillips).

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