Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:
“Do you believe God loves you?” I asked Ruth, a ninety year old woman I had regularly visited.
“I’m not sure,” she replied.
“Well, let me tell you how I know he does…”
It was from here that I shared with her the story of God’s salvation in a nutshell (John 3:16-17):
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Although we can only truly receive God’s love in Christ by knowing ourselves to be sinners deserving God’s wrath, I began my witness that day with God’s love because it is that love revealed in Christ’s death on the cross that sets bound sinners free to pray…
Most merciful God, I confess that I am by nature sinful and unclean. I’ve sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what I have done and by what I have left undone. I have not loved you with my whole heart; I have not loved my neighbors as myself. I justly deserved your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. Forgive me, renew me, and lead me, so that I may delight in your will and walk in your ways to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
“Do you know God loves you?”
This is the beginning of our witness and as I left her that day I said, “Remember, God does love you!”
Grace be with you,