The disciple John was something else. Repeatedly in the gospel of John, he referred to himself as the one Jesus loved. He sounds very sure of himself! I wonder what it would look like if we all did that? What if we all decided to live like we truly know how much God loves us? Let's be real: we say we do. We recite the scriptures. We mention how we're a child of God. But do we live and act like it? John 3:16 is the most quoted and known Bible scripture. But we've somehow cheapened it a bit by tossing it out there as a declaration, but missing the mark by not being a living witness to it. Let's read it together a few times:
"For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
Read it again. And again. God loves you tremendously. So much so that He gave you a gift, freely. Knowing who you are, what you would do, and the sins you'd commit, He still gave you His only son. Because of His great love for you. This is the agape love we find in 1 Corinthians 13. Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and so much more. IT has such a strong character. It's beautiful and never ending. This is the kind of love God has for us.
His son endured every whip, every lash, and a crown of thorns because of His love for you.
1 John 3:16 says "we know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters." When we know how much God loves us, and we know how much we matter, we dwell in it. We let it consume us and we're full. We then desire to share the love with others. 1 John 4:19 says "we love each other because he loved us first.)
Live like you know how much God loves you. Only then do you not need other's validation.
Remember, you're a co-heir of Christ. He's your brother and friend. 1 John 3:1, "See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know Him." You, my friend, are not of this world. You are of Him. So you live today like you know how much you are loved. His love for you is great. So great, that even while were still sinners, He without sin endured much for you.
John 15:13 " Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."