“God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love . . . [he] sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:9–10 (NLT)
When a new year comes around, it’s impossible not to remember how much things change. Every time you write a new date on a document, you are confronted with the reality that life keeps moving forward, and nothing stays the same.
You may be facing major changes in your ministry in 2023. Maybe you’re looking at retirement. Maybe you’re expecting a change of location. All of us will face changes of some kind this year.
In fact, you don’t know all the changes that will come your way this year. But there’s one thing in the universe that will never change: God’s love for you.
Knowing that God still loves you no matter what you do—your failures, your brokenness, your sin—creates a rock-solid foundation in your life.
Consider the small word “so” that goes before “loved” in the Bible’s most famous verse, John 3:16: “God so loved the world” (NIV).
God loves you with an extravagant, lavish love that can never be taken away. His love is beyond comprehension.
He loves you on your good days and on your bad days. He loves you when you’re standing in front of a crowd preaching. He loves you when you’re reading a bedtime story to your child. He loves you when you accidentally run a red light. And he loves you when you’ve made the biggest mistake of your life.
God doesn’t want you to just recognize this lavish love intellectually. He wants you to recognize it emotionally too. Love is God’s nature. God created the universe and everything in it so he could love it. And God created you so he could love you.
Through Jesus, God shows us what real love, his love, looks like. “God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love . . . [he] sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:9–10 NLT).
Many people say they love you. God showed you how much he loves you. He loved you so much it hurt. When Jesus died for you, he was saying he loved you so much he’d rather die than live without you.
And the Bible says that is what real love—the kind of love that you can build your life on—looks like. Real love makes sacrifices. Real love endures to the end. Real love gives all.
That’s the kind of love only God has for you. And he’s waiting with open arms to show you.