Quite-a-many people across our nation have heard someone tell them "Jesus loves you" or "God loves you very much" from a well-wishing passerby or a Christian eager to witness to the love of God in Christ.
Because of this, many people are unsure and confused about how the love of God works. If God loves me, then he will of course roll out the red carpet for me in heaven when I die?
The fact that God loves you is one of the most incredible, astounding truths in the world. As desiring God wrote this morning: God does not flatter, his words are utterly uncontaminated (Ps. 12:6). And without any exaggeration whatsoever, he says, “You are loved.” When God says "I love you" to you, He means it like no one ever has in your life.
However... and this is a very big however. A "however" so important, I hope nothing keeps you from catching this: If all you ever do is believe God loves you, it will only be a fancy thought, and you will be no better off.
The fact that "God loves you" is just a fancy thought, unless you actually receive God's love for you by believing in Jesus.
Let me illustrate this with a true story. My mom was witnessing to a lady in a grocery store parking lot at 3 in the morning (long story).
She started by telling her that Jesus loved her.
The lady was quite thankful and mentioned many others had told her the same thing and it meant so much.
My mom felt prompted to ask her "Jesus wants you to love him back."
This statement became the transformational catalyst in this woman's life that broke decades of abuse, drug use and sexual sin. She finally experienced God's tranformational love, and has now followed Jesus for over a decade.
When we believe in Jesus, we can finally receive the love of God that we've heard about!