My church, Fellowship Bible Church | Little Rock, recently had a sermon series called “Love Much, Live Well and Light the World” – a three-parter that was magnificent. I wanted to spend s0me time telling you why I think so.

First – the combination of the three summarizes perfectly the message Jesus has to mankind. If you spend any time reading the Bible – especially the first 4 books of the New Testament – you will see this message over and over. Jesus was always calling people to love God and others, to live with purpose and integrity and to influence the world around us.

Furthermore, the order is right on. We first need to love – it is the key to everything else. I have a working philosophy about love and it goes a little like this:

The degree to which we can love others is based on how we love God and the degree to which we love God is based on how fully we understand His love for us.

I believe the reason we don’t/can’t love people deeply is because we don’t grasp how incredibly deeply we’re loved by God. A paradigm shift is needed – as with all things related to God. We must examine what’s inside before we can reflect it outside.

One of the best places to start your journey of understanding of God’s Love is the book of Ephesians in the Bible. God describes us as noble heirs to His Kingdom through the redeeming blood of His Son. To be reconciled to God is to return home – right where you belong and the peace and love you feel from the Father will allow you to love people well and extend grace just as it was extended to you.

Being loved by your creator is incredibly life changing, but all too often, we can get in the way. We believe the lies and play the tapes that say we’re not worthy or ready and we resist being embraced. Once again, you have to change your beliefs and it starts with knowing that you are the most valuable thing to God. He sent His Son to die so you and He could have a relationship – what could be more evidence of your worth to Him.

Let that sink in, believe what you read in Ephesians and ask Him to make it all real in your heart. Over time, you will understand what it means to love much and how important that is to living well and influencing the world around you, but more on that later.

May our hearts break for those in the valley, rejoice for those on the high places and may we never forget how He loves us much!

*PARADIGM CHECK: Spiritual maturity is measured in love, not years. We must evaluate ourselves and others against how well we love people.