Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Love’s Anchor

by Dean Gardner

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
1 John 4:9-10, NLT

There’s a much-repeated story concerning the theologian Karl Barth. At a question and answer session at the end of a lecture at an American university in 1962, he is reported to have been asked if he could summarise his whole life’s work in theology in a single sentence. His answer was something to the effect, “Yes I can. In the words of a song I learned at my mother’s knee. ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’”

Over the years, when I have had opportunity to minister to others, I have often spoken words of affirmation to those struggling to receive the love of God for themselves. I have told them that they are precious and honoured in their Heavenly Father’s eyes, that they are unique and loved unconditionally by Him. Sometimes those words have penetrated the walls of pain and rejection, other times they seem to have bounced off and fallen to the ground.

In a daily devotional I have been using for a number of years, the author describes a practice, probably long extinct, of young girls in love, pulling petals one by one off a daisy, saying with each petal removed, ‘He loves me’ or ‘He loves me not’. The final petal removed would be a sign of whether her love would be reciprocated. The author wasn’t affirming what was almost a form of divination, but he was comparing it to the way we as Christians can view the love of God. ‘I had a great quiet time this morning and things are going well for me today – God loves me. I have just had terrible news – God loves me not.’

The point being made by the author was simply that God’s love for us isn’t rooted in our feelings or how well our lives are going, but in the truth of His word, and the demonstration of that love in sending Jesus to die as a sacrifice for each of us on the cross. The implication is that receiving God’s love is not based on an experience, but on our choice to believe His word.

If we rely on having an ‘experience’ of God’s love, we will be tossed around in the storms and circumstances of life. If our faith and trust is a response to the fact and truth of His demonstration of love in the cross of Jesus, then we have an anchor which will hold our souls secure and will also open the door for us to experience that love emotionally.

‘We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love’

(Priscilla Jane Owens)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I choose to believe Your demonstration of love for me in dying on the cross to take away my sins. Thank You for loving me so much. Please flood my heart more and more with the knowledge of Your love by Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dean Gardner worked part time in the Ellel Grange Ministry Office for four and a half years until October 2018 and is now part of the Associate teaching and ministry team. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife Gemma. In 1988 he experienced God`s amazing grace at a carol service and began a journey of restoration and healing with Jesus. He longs to continue that journey allowing God`s truth to change his own life but also to share that truth with others that they too might know Jesus for themselves.


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