Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very happy to introduce you all to Toby Valdez. When I started thinking about this series, and who I would like to contribute, the first name that came to mind was him. Toby and his family express the love and acceptance of Christ in action. They don’t even need to speak of such love, they simply demonstrate it to every human, saved or not.
The mark of a person that really knows and has experienced the love of God is pain and suffering. Toby’s transparency with his own experience of this love, and his simplicity in explaining it, is indeed a genuine encouragement. Your spirit will be filled and built up with his post of being Loved.
His blog is great too! Check it out here.
There is something, I have no doubt, we all have in common, regardless of who we are, where we are, where we’ve been, where we’re going, what we’ve done, what we will do. This list could go on and on and it would not change the one thing we have in common. When I say “we all” I mean everybody. Those of us who confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, those of us don’t. We ALL have one thing in common.
What is that one thing?
We are all loved.
God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, loves us all beyond measure. You are loved. You are loved without condition. No strings attached. No gimmick. There is nothing you have done to deserve this love. There is nothing you can do to lose this love either. Did you hear what I just said?
You are loved without doing anything to earn it or deserve it. You are loved without having to be afraid of doing something to lose it. No, quite to the contrary…it was while we were all still enemies of God, at odds with him because of sin, that He chose to demonstrate His great love for us. Jesus, the Son of God, came to the earth and gave His life to reconcile us to God, to bring us into right relationship with Him. By His death He has reconciled us to God. By His life we can now live in that love. For you see, Jesus didn’t just die to reconcile us to God. He rose from death that He might not only demonstrate His love, but that we might know and live in His love, by faith in Him (Romans 5:8-10, Ephesians 2:4-9, Titus 3:3-7).
In my own life I have experienced this to be true. There was a point in my life when circumstances and consequences of my choices and actions resulted in my family falling apart. I was left alone, without my children, without my wife, and what I knew of love was being shaken to the core. It was in this time, my darkest days, that I truly experienced the love of God. It was in this time, when I truly felt unloved, unwanted, and worthless, that the Lord Jesus began to show me just how much He loves me. He called me His own. He reminded me of His death and life so that I might know Him and live in His love. At that point it didn’t matter what anyone else thought about me, it didn’t matter what anyone else said about me. I recognized His love, His desire, and His worth, all of which He freely gave to me. All of which He freely gives to all who would accept.
Perhaps, in life you’ve experienced pain, sorrow, heartache, loss, suffering, wrong. Many of these things can cause a person to wonder where they stand in life. They can cause a person to question their value or their worth. If a person doesn’t have the proper standard by which to measure their value or worth, they can begin to feel worthless, of little value, unwanted, unaccepted, or undesirable. I tell you now, the proper standard, no, the ONE TRUE STANDARD by which a person should measure their value or worth is the person of Jesus Christ, and He has made it clear that He loves us. He loves you.
Let this truth become a reality in your life. Receive His love. Rest in His love.
Toby and I believe that Jamal Jivanjee’s post on old children’s hymn really adds to this post. So take a read of his post. Remember, while reading it, keep in mind that Jamal is describing a deep love that is experiential, not just mentally or doctrinal.