How many times have we asked ourselves this question despite the fact we know God is unconditional love? Not only ourselves but in our meetings and contact with those we serve this is always a popular topic.
There are many ways to answer that from over 300 references to "love" in the Bible, but these verses from Jeremiah 31:1-4 are our topic of discussion in a few meetings this week:
"At that time" declares the Lord, "I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people." This is what the Lord says, "The people who survive the sword will find favor in the desert: I will come to give rest to Israel." The Lord appeared to us in the past saying:
I have loved you with an everlasting love: I have drawn you with loving kindness. I will build you up again..."
Not enough time or wisdom on my part to make this a Bible lesson but this is a recovery lesson if we can envision ourselves in this passage. Here are some takeaways for us about why he still loves us:
+ We, much like those Israelites who acted in a most dysfunctional manner, have survived the sword of overdose, multiple addictions and the results of bad behavior, if we are still standing and not in a pine box. God has led us out of the wilderness and united us with his followers (Christians) to learn how to live life again. He saved us from that overdose and has given us the favor of his grace.
+ While we were still sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 - God sent a way to bring us out of that wilderness and if he did it for those who created many false gods, had drunken orgies, and generally were always rebellious, he will do it for us, despite our frequent flaws.
+ Yes, But Does He Still Love Me? Just look at John 3:16 and 1 John 4:9-12. He said it, I have loved you with an everlasting love - that's love that defies logic. He said it in I have drawn you with loving kindness, he stands in the garden of grace with open arms inviting us in to experience the fruits of His Spirit.
+ And, finally he said I will build you up again, he can and will restore us to sanity if we realize the question may be Does He Still Love Me, but should be do I love him enough to join him in that garden?
Ah, the journey is real, from the wilderness to sanity and there was only one who stayed with me throughout my own personal return from one foot in hell, even when I did not love myself. His name is Jesus, the reconciler of wanderers in the desert! The giver of rest to a life of a restless soul!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.