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Embracing the love of Christ, part 1
pastor corner

Do you understand that Jesus loves you? Yes, you — you are important to God.
Most likely, you have sung “Jesus Loves Me,” but have you ever taken it to heart that he loves you personally? Not only does he love you, but God also loves you. John wrote, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Have you ever thought about what Jesus gave up because he loved you? Just think: He had equality with God, but humbled himself and became a servant so that you could have salvation.
Here is a passage by Thomas Lindberg on Stevens Point, Wisconsin, in “Leadership, Vol. 5, No. 1”:
“In his book ‘Written in Blood,’ Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had conquered the disease. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.
“‘Would you give your blood to Mary?’ the doctor asked.
“Johnny hesitated. His lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled and said, ‘Sure, for my sister.’
“Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room — Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned. As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny’s smile faded. He watched the blood flow through the tube.
“With the ordeal almost over, his voice, slightly shaky, broke the silence. ‘Doctor, when do I die?’
“Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated and why his lip had trembled when he’d agreed to donate his blood. He’d thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. In that brief moment, he’d made his great decision.
“Johnny, fortunately, didn’t have to die to save his sister. Each of us, however, has a condition more serious than Mary’s, and it required Jesus to give not just his blood, but his life.”
God’s love is given freely to mankind, but man must take advantage of the gift. If we partake of the gift, we can go to heaven. We must obey God and not man. Jesus taught, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). The Gospel of Jesus Christ must be obeyed — that is God’s plan for man. However, some do not believe this teaching given from God.
What is the Gospel? A simple definition is “good news.” The “good news” of Jesus Christ is summarized in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Paul wrote, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”  
Next week, we will look at how to take advantage of the love God offers.

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