“I apologize for the length of this letter but I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” That seemingly contradictory statement has been attributed to a number of great writers, but as far as I can tell, Blaise Pascal gets the earliest reference.
Regardless of who said it first, it’s one of the most intriguing statements you’ll ever read. The implication is that it is harder to write a short sentence than a long one. Why? Because it takes effort to eliminate all extraneous words diluting the meaning.
The Bible uses the shorter-is-better idea as well. The shortest verse I know of is one of the most profound: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) over Lazarus. Packed in those two words is the heartbreak and grief over the death of a friend. John, the writer, could have gone on and on about “why” Jesus wept. But he didn’t need to. Two words said it all.
As powerful as many short phrases are, I don’t know of a more important three-word phrase than “God loves you.”
I checked a handful of modern Bible translations and the phrase “God loves you” occurs only once in Scripture: Deuteronomy 23:5. And there, it is not a simple three-word sentence. It is offered as an explanation for why God protected Israel from the curses of the false prophet Balaam: “… the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you.”
“God loves you” is such an accurate summary of the entire redemptive message of the Bible that we can think of it as a biblically accurate statement. Jesus told His disciples, “for the Father Himself loves you. …” (John 16:27), and said that those who love Him (Jesus) “will be loved by My Father” (John 14:21). Yes, those “God loves you” statements are referring to believers in Christ, which I hope includes you.
Before considering who else is included in that short statement, let’s consider what “God loves you” means.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press