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Summary: Jesus said that he came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. God loves us, so that we can love ourselves, in order to love others.

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How can we love ourselves

Things we don’t like about ourselves

Tattoos

People don’t like my preaching

I intentionally hurt another person

Other person intentionally hurt me

I’m overweight

I’m out-of-style

Psychologists say that everyone of us has things that we keep hidden from the outside world

• We by human nature show the world what we believe the world wants to see

• And the rest of our baggage we keep locked away deep inside of us.

• And we very rarely if ever let anyone see this baggage

This baggage is stuff that hurts.

• The stuff that we’ve been told isn’t normal,

• The stuff that isn’t healthy to show to others.

• It’s the stuff we’re ashamed of.

• It’s the stuff that we hide, because it represents a part of ourselves

• That we don’t want anyone else to see.

As you might imagine, this may become a problem.

• While it’s healthy to keep somethings to ourselves

• And to evaluate it and deal with it on our own

• To much baggage is a bad thing because we can only hold so much.

• If we try to stuff to much baggage in to small of a bag it’s going to explode

What we learn about Jesus is that He did everything, out of love for us.

• And He instructs us to

Mark 12:31 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself…”

• But what happens when I don’t love myself.

• What happens when all that baggage that I have been stuffing in my suitcase explodes and I start suffering a critical melt down?

• What happens when my suitcase gets so full that I don’t have any room for anyone else.

The good news is that God loves us.

10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 1Jo 4:10-11

Then only a few verses later starting in v. 19 it says, “

19 We love each other because he loved us first.20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

What it seems like is if we want to unload all this extra bagage,

• We need to first to recognize that God loves us.

• Then and only then we can “love ourselves

• Which will allow us to love others,”

• This is the message that we learned in VBS so many years ago in the song “Jesus loves me

• Remember the words “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong.”

When we accept God’s love in its truest form,

• We realize that it’s not us that makes the difference.

• But it’s God’s love living inside us that allows us to feel accepted.

26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.” John 17:26

When we recognize God’s love in us…4 things happen

1. We can forgive and be forgiven,

2. We can attempt to make what was wrong, right

3. We can let God’s love soothe all our hurt and pain that we’ve experienced.

4. We can completely understand that God loves you.

No matter what we’ve done or haven’t done.

No matter what we said or didn’t say.

No matter whom we’ve hurt…even if it is ourselves….

God still loves us

When we understand God’s love for us,

• We can begin to look at ourselves differently.

ILUS. – There’s a story of a two-and-a-half year old who was sitting politely at the dinner table, trying his hardest to eat and talk like the grown-ups. “Please pass the salt,” he siad slowly and deliberately. It was passed. “Thank you,” he responded, and sprinkled just a little on his food. Then he blinked and said in a soft, astonished voice, “I…did that…rather…well!”

What would happen if we took time everyday to tell ourselves that we did something well.

Now, I know, there is the flip side.

3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this

warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of

yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Romans 12:3

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