There are about 240,000 people in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Looking a little smaller, our churches are in the Mt. Holly Springs area of Cumberland County. Here, in a 5 mile radius, there are about 20,000 people. Within this same radius, around half of the people consider themselves to be spiritual and 20% feel that it is important to attend religious services.
Given these numbers, I believe it is safe to say there are literally thousands of people who are not connected to Christ’s love. There are people who do not know or believe there is a God who loves them.
The Apostle John writes,
9 This is how the love of God is revealed to us: God has sent his only Son into the world so that we can live through him. 10 This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins. (1 John 4)
God loves us. Too often people shy away from knowing God’s love because they feel they need to earn it. They may say things like, “I’m not good enough. If God knows what I have done, He wouldn’t love me.”
God knows and God does. Loving God, our living for Him, comes after Him loving us.
11 Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other. (1 John 4)
We do not read that we are to live a certain way in order to be loved by God. Instead, God loves us. Then, knowing this love, His love for us, we only have one response. Our response is to love Him and to love those around us.
What concerns me in this is knowing how many people still do not know Christ’s love. The numbers trouble me because they represent individual lives, thousands of people. It raises this question for me. Are we as God’s people not loving as God showed us to love?
God, help me, help us, to love as you want us to love.
(All scripture cited above from Common English Bible Copyright © 2011)