Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for thebrethren.
” (1 John 3:16)—This is how we know He loves us. He has told us often in the Word; but he has alsodemonstrated it. Question: Do you know anyone who, after carefully thinking about it, would decide that your life isworth more than keeping their own? Someone who would freely give their life to save yours? If so, it must besomeone who loves you dearly: a mother, a spouse, a very close friend, etc. This is how derly Elohiym loves you.(John 15:13) This is the ultimate. People sometimes ask for a sign that Elohiym cares—and sometimes Elohiymsends us tokens; but really, what kind of sign do we need? He couldn’t have shown us more clearly.“
We love him, because he first loved us
” (1 John 4:19); “
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
”(Rom 5:6-8)—When we were enemies (Col 1:21), He loved us. Elohiym had compassion on us while we werehateful, hurting each other (Titus 3:3-5). He wanted to sve us.So, how much does He love us once we return to Him? Enough to call us His wife (see Eph 5:25-33); enough to callus His children (1 John 3:1). Every righteous husband loves his wife; every righteous parent loves his children. Butyet, even further:“
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
” (Galatians 2:20)—It’s more thanthat He loves “us” collectively—He loves each of us individually. Every one of us can say/ should believe this:“Yeshua loves me, this I know…” Yeshua knows you by name. He thinks about you (Psalm 115:12; 139:1-6). Heknows the number of hairs on your head (Matt 10:30). If yo had been the only one who would be saved, Yeshuawould have died just for you. He loves you, and gave Himself for you.When you see others blessed while you’re afflicted (or vice-versa), remember our Father is dealing with each of uson an individual level. He may ask you to give up something He doesn’t ask someone else to. We all must beobedient to the Word—yet there are other areas the Scriptures leave open to conscience. In those decisions, don’t beself-willed, but be meek, yielded to His Spirit.This verse (Gal 2:20) carries the essence of Christian life: an understanding of how much Elohiym loves us; and alsothe proper response of those who have this understanding. That response is to repent—to lay down our whole life for Him. Not to live unto ourselves, but unto Him who died for us. (2 Cor 5:15) Die to self, so Yeshua can live throughus. (John 12:24, Luke 9:23,24) It’s easy to say; but as we see what he is asking of us, it becomes clear how much ittruly is. The message is to count the cost: forsaking all (Luke 14:28-33), & offering up our lives to Him completely.(Rom 12:1)One way to begin is to simply tell Him. Take inventory of your whole life: all you have, all your goals, all your desires, everything dear to you—friends, loved ones, etc.—things you like, comforts, pleasures; everything youknow, and all that you are. Now, offer it all up on His altar; tell Elohiym He means more to you than all of ittogether, and ask Him to change or remove, anything He thinks good. Maybe Elohiym will give some of these things back; and maybe he won’t. Do you trust Him enough to lay down your whole life like that. “I am crucified withMashiyach.” (Gal 2:20) We only belong to Yeshua as long as we have that “willing mind” (2 Cor 8:12), that brokenness before Him to trust Him with everything we have and are. Do you love Him that much? (He loved youthat much.) Do you trust Him that much? He will not tke away from us anything good for us, nor replace it withanything bad for us. However, nothing is worth withholding from Elohiym—even for a moment—that Yeshua wantsus to give up.Once I was thinking about what more could be offered to Yeshua—and thought of our time. Yeshua wants to spendtime with us; He wants us to devote our time to Him. It should make you want to go pray, seek Him, spend time withYeshua—He wants that.