Monday, August 10, 2009

How Much Do I Love You?

My husband, Dave, is always freely telling me that he loves me. I don't know when it began but I started to reply to his "I love you" with "How much do you love me?" I just wanted sweet and creative answers but after awhile he would just roll his eyes because he had nothing new to say and it would frustrate him to have to try to come up with another clever response. I still like to ask just to pick on him!

Malachi 1:2 says this: "I have loved you," says the Lord, "Yet you say, 'In what way have you loved us?'"(NKJV). I began to wonder had I ever presented this question to the Lord myself? I know that I have. Especially when trials and tribulations have come my way it is a question that, if not spoken, I certainly have thought. How can you love me and let _____ happen? If you loved me then you would do ____? I also know that the love of God is easy for me to take for granted. I can also minimize His love by defining love by the standards of this world. (God's love is based on action and fact. Is Christ's shed blood and death for you and I not enough for us to know how much He loves us?)

Sometimes hearing "Jesus loves you" has become so familiar I have to question whether you and I hear it or know it anymore. For example, in my Bible study of Malachi I was asked to note the nature of God revealed in a series of verses. The first verse was John 3:16. I hate to admit that the first thing that went through my head was - I have read that a million times! But I opened to John 3:16 and in line with the question found out several things about God's nature and character. John 3:16 revealed to me that God is love. He is giving, a redeemer, Savior, and provider of eternal life. WOW! That was a sweet way for God to remind me of all He is to me and all He has done for me! In this familiar verse I found a new way of seeing God's magnificent love and He told me just how much He loves me! I just needed to come to that verse asking a new question. Approaching a verse while questioning who, what, where, when and how often will reveal new insights.

Are you deep in the midst of trials and tribulations and questioning God's love for you? Has your quiet time and Scripture reading become dry and dull? Have you forgotten your First Love? Let me encourage you to read a verse or two that mentions God's love. Go ahead and ask Him, "How much do you love me?" but then also ask "What does this verse tell me about God's love for me?" "How is God's love revealed to me in this verse?" "Who is God showing Himself to be in this verse?" God has never been stingy about telling us how much He loves us. He never tires of telling you just how much He loves you. AND He can be very creative with His answers!


Kathy Withers serves in Guest Services at America's KESWICK. She is married to Dave and has 2 adult children, Michael and Kerri.

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