My name is Jim Garlow and I lead a ministry called Well Versed. Many years ago, I was working on my Master’s thesis. I was writing a thesis on the word “agape”. That’s the word that is used in the New Testament for love, the love of God. You might think, “What would a person say other than it’s the love of God?” Well, the love of God is so expansive that that master’s thesis stretched into many, many many pages. It was very long. Why?
The love of God is so profound. What do we know about the love of God? The love of God is spontaneous. Now, what does that mean? The word spontaneous means that God loves you not for what He sees in you, not for what He can get out of you. See, most of the love you and I know about is love that “I love something because of what I can back from it.” That is not the love of God.
God has no particular benefit that He can get back from it. He loves you as you are, regardless of how you are. God’s love is a creator of value in us. Once we are a recipient of God’s love, our value is enhanced. Let me give an illustration. One day, I was in an audience, and somebody famous was speaking. Now, I honestly didn’t know this person, hardly even knew me, but in the course of their talk, they referred to me. Now, I wasn’t known in that audience. But, they had me stand. After that, I was suddenly very popular in this audience, where I didn’t know anybody, and I didn’t know the speaker was going to refer to me in such a complementary fashion.
In other words, the fact that he noticed me, suddenly enhanced my value to the people around me. That is like God’s love. Because He loves you, you are a recipient of His love. Your value increases. Why? Your value increases because you are loved by God. Now, I don’t know who you are or where you are, but somebody wants to hear this right now. This is not just a trite expression. This is not a flippant bumper sticker saying, “God loves you.” I want to make you hear this. I want you to hear this very clearly: God loves you passionately.
That Master’s thesis I talked about – it became the largest Master’s thesis in that university. Why? Because I am verbose? Well, I hope not. No. Because God’s love has such breadth and depth. And He really loves you.