The three most important words in any language to any relationship are, “I love you.” Every lasting relationship not only says these words, but shows these words. Though God may not say “I love you” verbatim in Scripture, time and time again He tells us and shows us that He loves us.
For example, take the most common verse of all time, “For God love the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, CSB). God is not explicitly saying, “I love you,” but is rather informing the world of the love that He has for them by telling of what he did. We are all loved by God as we are all, at one point or another, part of the world.
Last night, in our student ministry, we focused in on love in 1 John 4:7–21. Part of the focus in this passage is the contrast between confidence and fear and how the differing factor is love. Without love, one can only have fear. With love, one can have confidence. John puts it so eloquently, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment” (1 John 4:18, CSB).
Now let us go all the way back to creation. After God spent six days creating all things, He looked across “all that He had made, and it was very good indeed” (Genesis 1:31, CSB). As God and man had a great relationship, there was no reason to fear. Fear must have not yet existed.
Yet, fear makes an appearance only a few chapters later in the story. As Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, their eyes are opened, and fear enters the scene and the story forever. The first man and woman have disobeyed a direct order from God Himself. They are likely to face a punishment that God warned: death. Thus, the basis of their fear lies in the punishment of their actions.
But I tell you, there is one piece of the puzzle we must not lose, or the puzzle cannot be made complete! That piece is that of Jesus Christ. He is the missing puzzle piece in our lives. With Him, we find completion. With Him, we find fulfillment. With Him, we find hope and joy. As the missing puzzle piece comes into our lives, the puzzle shifts from fear to confidence, for it is complete.
Fear says that we are trusting in something that we have no faith in. Confidence not only says I have faith, but I have something much more: love. “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16, CSB). Don’t rest in fear and carry your anxieties on your shoulders, but rest in confidence in the finished work of the cross of Christ!
Remember, God says “I love you” amongst a world that too often forgets to say it, or says it superficially. These are the three most important words in our relationship with HIm, for His love is the basis of our salvation! We know this not only from John 3:16, but from 1 John 4:9–10, “God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
It is God’s love that initiated His blood being spilled as a sacrifice, and His sacrifice that initiates our salvation through His blood. Rest in these three words from God, “I love you.”