Can you remember a time when you felt loved like you were the only one?
Welcome, dear reader, to a collection of letters entitled Dear Christian.
~ In the moments we spend together as each writing is released, it is my
fervent hope that Christ’s love for you
will infuse you through and through ~
What has never changed between the Cross and right now is that God looks upon you as one who is loved like you were the only one.
Though He has made the sun to shine and the rain to fall on all, to be loved by Him is extraordinary.
He and I are glad you’re here.
Perhaps the opening question left you unsettled or sad. While that is not my intent, it seems there is an epidemic among God’s dear people of those who say they do not feel like they are loved. By that, I mean their truly knowing they are loved. So widespread is the number of disheartened and depressed souls, that it has reached a fevered pitch in my soul. Holy Spirit’s personal antidote for what burns within me has come in the form of Dear Christian.
The prevalence of this sense of lack among professing Christians has led me to believe that love is one of the most overused and misappropriated terms in global languages. While scripture tells us it is God’s very nature, it’s gained a reputation of becoming the Christian’s four-letter ‘nice’ word, and is the moral term of secularists the world over. Truth be told, how we receive and convey love often doesn’t look very different from the world Jesus came to save.
Throughout the ages, there are those who have been sincere in their longing to love well. For others, it has been nothing more than a concept because the ‘love’ they experienced is so far from the genuine virtue. Either way, dear Christian, no matter who you are or what your story, to be loved is a yearning hard-wired into your very personhood.
On your best and yes, your worst days, the good news is that
you are not unknown or unloved
in the sweeping sea of humanity that inhabits this blue planet of ours.
Nor is that the fate of those who have not yet met the Savior.
Meanwhile, back to our question: can you remember a time when you felt loved like you were the only one? If answered, it is most often filtered through the lens of horizontal relationships. (You can do a mental check of where your mind went when you first read it). Occasionally, the acceptable religious response gets voiced (though your heart is not feelin’ the love). Neither one is a compelling testimony of God’s love.
Love is the essence of who God is. To feel loved like you were the only one is to come into the presence of God the Father, through relationship with his Son, who gave His life for you. It is first and foremost a personal relationship.
The greatest act of Love ever portrayed occurred on a specific date in history that no one can erase. Deny, yes. Make non-existent, no. It was the day God the Father gave His one and only Son, Jesus, for the redemption of all humanity.1 This, dear Christian, is where our individual and mutual journeys begin: on a level playing field at the foot of the Cross. No one but Jesus has gone to the Cross for you or me. Sinless for the sinner. My friend, His is pure love, and personal.
If it were not for such incomparable love,
you would never know what it is to be loved like you were the only one.
Father’s and Son’s love, for you, knows no wall high enough or hiding place obscure enough that it cannot reach. Love is a deeply felt emotion when Their reach is met with your receiving. A powerful communication of Holy Spirit to your spirit, He breathes life into the deadest of places. This, dear Christian, is the continued journey of life beyond the Cross.
Which brings us full circle to the motivation for this forthcoming collection of letters:
Christianity has always been, and still remains,
a matter of what we have done with our first love.2
In case that seems elementary, it is. And powerful enough to cut through every label with which we have language’d what we don’t understand.
If love seems far away – remember from where you came; repent in view of the price Christ paid for your life; and return to His heart of love.2
He’s waited for you, so you may truly know what it is to be loved like you were the only one.
~ Gracefully Free
1 John 3:16
2 Revelation 2:2-5
3 Colossians 1:26-29
Note from Nancy: Like many of you, I live in this world as a professing Christian. My own life has become a living experiment / testimony / witness of what it means to truly believe and trust that Christ lives His life within me.3 The reality of that is my acceptance that I am not my own, since I have been bought with His priceless blood, shed for me. Everything shifted when I sensed in my awakened, quivering heart that I was loved by Him like I was the only one. Examining, healing, stretching, unlearning, relearning, growing, maturing…all of my journey since is consumed with the heart knowledge and understanding He gives. In Christ is endless Love to be searched out, discovered, and walked out in each and every aspect of my life. It is, for me, the definition of a living evidence that I belong to Him. The best discovery is that I cannot live or love independent of Him.
While by His mercy and grace, and my continued faith and trust in Him, He continues to be unveiled to and in me, it was not always that way. Don’t misunderstand. I accepted Jesus as my Savior and gave my heart to Him at my Sunday school teacher’s invitation when I was five years old. I grew up in church. I ‘had’ Jesus; but oh, dear Christian, it was only the beginning of life when I could say without wax (the meaning of sincere) that He has and will ever have my heart. It was a spiritual transaction requiring faith and surrender on my part as He removed my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh. The rest of the story is that of His ongoing regeneration, shaping, molding, and transforming work through imprints of love, justice, and truth in this now alive heart of flesh. The stone between death and life has surely been rolled away.
I told my husband after writing this first Dear Christian letter, the Lord has never changed His mind about what He branded in me when I awakened to His unconditional love. It’s the message of the heart. Every post I’ve ever penned is a chronicle of His deep love for this wellspring of life – and for you.
©2019 Nancy Bentz │Wellspring of Life