Craig Groeschel, of LifeChurch.tv in Edmund OK, launches our One Prayer campaign with the question “Why would God love ME?” Like John Wesley, he knew that God loved the world and he knew how to point at others and say “God loves you.” But Craig, like many of us, found it hard to comprehend that “God loves me.”
Two questions prompt his thoughts:
- Why would God love someone as BAD as me? Job reflects upon his encounter with God and says “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). Paul said to the church in Corinth “for I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Corinthians 15:9).
- Why would God love someone as INSIGNIFICANT as me (among six billion people on planet earth)? Moses said to God when he was being called to liberate the children of Israel “who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). David said to God as he led worship with his people “but who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to make this freewill offering? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you” (1 Chronicles 29:14).
God does not just love you – there is more to God than that. God is more that what God does, God is LOVE. “ Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:8-10). We are not reflecting on God’s action, we are paying attention to who God is … God is LOVE! That changes everything!
- God’s love COVERS your sins. “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). When Adam and Eve rebelled in the garden, God covered them with the skin of an innocent animal (see Genesis 3:21). When a son rebelled against his father and squandered his fortune, the father welcomed him home and covered him with a new robe (see Luke 15:22). Paul said to Titus “when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy” (Titus 3:4-5).
- God’s love makes you SIGNIFICANT. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” (Jeremiah 31:3). See Luke 15 for the stories of the widow looking for a lost coin, a father with two sons, and a shepherd with 100 sheep left 99 to find the one lost sheep.
So this is Craig and my prayer for you this day: “for God so loved (insert your name) that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16). Amen.
I will post a link to the online version of the sermon at a later date. It’s worth the watch! Craig is a great storyteller and offers the gospel in a fresh way. Meanwhile check out his books below: