Does Jesus Know You Love Him?                               by: Dan Gulley, Smithville, TN
        What would you do if you were worth $3.2 billion? When media mogul Ted Turner found out in    late September 1997 his wealth had grown from a paltry $2.2 billion to $3.2 billion in a year, he decided to give away a billion. On September 25, 1977, Turner electrified an audience in New York City when he announced he would give away one billion dollars to the good works program of the Nations — a hundred million dollars a year for the next 10 years. A Newsweek article entitled “Why Ted Gave It Away” (September 29, 2997, pp 29-32) referred to his gift as “… the largest pledge in philanthropic history.” The article went on to describe the audience as “stunned.” Why did Ted give it away? No one but he and God knows for sure. Maybe he sincerely wanted to help people. The article pointed out he would get tax benefits and that after the gift he would still be a billionaire two times over.
        Turner’s gift was a stunning one by any measure. But be sure to know — his $1,000,000,000 gift was neither the largest nor most stunning one in history, not even close. That trophy was claimed 2,000 years ago when God, “when the fulness of the time had come, sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). In the most familiar verse in the 31,102 verses of the King James Version of the Holy Bible, John 3:16 still says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The cross of Christ is the place where the greatest, largest, most stunning gift in the history of man was given. There God’s sinless Son suffered and died for sinners, giving us what can only be described, in the words of 2 Corinthians 9:15, as an “unspeakable” or indescribable gift! Now, if it is not clear what moved Ted Turner and what moves other fabulously rich people like him (Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffet have given away multiple billions), the Bible leaves no doubt as to why Jesus died on a cross. Romans 5:8 says God “demonstrates His love toward, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” First John 3:16a declares, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
        Another verse about the love of Christ is Galatians 2:20 — “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” That verse is often used to call us to deny ourselves and take up the cross of self-denial as Jesus taught (e.g., Luke 9:23). Appropriately so. Romans 6:1-7 is clear before sinners can “raised to newness of life” and “freed from sin” they must first “die to sin” (in repentance) and then be “baptized into Christ Jesus … buried with Him through baptism into death.” So, it is Galatians 2:20 teaches us the what behind Paul’s intense devotion to Jesus – Paul had died to self and Christ lived His life out through Paul. But don’t miss the last dozen words of that verse — “the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Those 12 words reveal the why behind Paul’s love for Jesus and ceaseless efforts to bring others to Him! Paul knew Jesus loved him because Jesus gave Himself for Paul. Jesus knew Paul loved Him because Paul gave himself for Jesus. You know Jesus loves you, but does Jesus know you love Him?