Archive for the ‘God’s Love’ Category

When I was twelve, I often feIt unsafe and alone. I was adjusting to starting junior high, being at a new school and not having friends, beginning to experience the changes of adolescence and feeling tension in the home. No one in our immediate family of five were Christians. And we were a thousand miles away from any extended family. I did not feel incredibly loved.

I felt anxiety and depression as I entered this new phase of my life. I also did not feel I could confide in my parents or anyone else how much I was troubled within. Then, my parents decided to move our family 2,000 miles to Illinois.

The good part of this move was relocating to the same town where my extended family lived. This included visiting with my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on a daily and weekly basis. My emotional disturbances melted away within a month of arrival because of the steady and unconditional love I felt coming from my extended family.

Experiencing God’s Incredible Love for Us

Trust in and experiencing God’s great love for us helps us to feel safe and at peace. We sense that God is our place of safety because he is strong and loves us. Our fears begin to melt away. We become less afraid of all the dangers and what could happen, and more confident that God will protect us from the worst-case scenarios we imagine. But how do we know he loves us?

My grandmother best modeled God’s love for me. She was a Christian and deeply loved God and as a result he lived through her in a powerful way. She was safe to be around. No fear of being hurt by her in any way. She accepted, enjoyed and respected who I was.  I felt loved especially when she gave me big hugs. I could relax and be myself. No need to be on my toes to avoid criticism or punishment. This is what Grandma’s love felt like and is a microscopic representation of how God loves us.

Imagine what it would feel like if we could comprehend and rely on God love for us that is “as great as the height of the heavens are above the earth” (Psalm 103:11, NAS). As I grow in the experience of this immense love, this is my reasonable expectation of the benefits for me:

  • Much more peace and less anxiety
  • Expecting more of the positive to happen rather than the negative
  • Much less dependence on demanding good treatment from others
  • Much more content with my circumstances in life
  • More capable of loving others deeper
  • More pleasing to God because loving others is the top of God’s list of what pleases him
  • Less turmoil as I focus my attention on giving love rather than just receiving it
  • Less fear of people as I depend on God’s stable and overwhelming love rather than my ability to impress others to get their love

Why it Is So Hard to Comprehend this Love

It’s impossible to fully comprehend God’s incredible love for us. His love flows from who he is, not who we are. He loves us because he chose to love us, not as a reward for being good little boys and girls.

We experience his love in his patience and kindness with us, and his protection (1 Corinthians 13). But we have a hard time accepting this love because it is so radically different from the way the world operates. We have been programed by our parents and society to earn love through our performance. Often, we do not experience love when we fail but only when succeed and please. Because our need to be loved is so strong, we will do almost anything to earn this love.

But God is different. He doesn’t require us to earn, please and impress. Just trust in him to give us incredible love by just accepting it as a gift. That’s why many of us reject it. It doesn’t make sense.

In my childhood home I was a busy beaver looking for ways to be safe, important, respected, and loved. What do I have to do today to feel safe? To do nothing, relax, and be myself felt suicidal. I would be crushed by criticism and sometimes much worse. To be loved was something to be earned.

Not so with God. He us loves because we are ourselves, not the gushy up self we present to our parents and others- but the real us with all the weaknesses and sin we practice daily. Jesus took care of that messy stuff we try to hide.

But many of us lean too much on our understanding and reject this truth. Instead, we get busy trying to obey the Bible in our own strength. We miss the grace he offers us to be treated as prince and princess and instead try to be workers who are worthy of this status.

It is stunning and unbelievable to realize that Jesus loves us so much that he died for us. He did not do it for himself when he went through the most agonizing death devised by man. His only reasons were to save us from going to hell, qualify us to live with him forever, and to see his glory. That’s love! As Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13, NAS). And that’s what he did.

How To Experience God’s Incredible Love for You

Because our understanding and experience of unconditional love is so limited, we need to rely on God for the capacity to comprehend it more. We need to live in the power of the Spirit. Paul knew this when he prayed for the church in Ephesus.  He asked God to give them “the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is (Ephesians 3:18, NLT).” He further prayed that they “may experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully (Ephesians 3:19, NLT).”

Another way we can experience God’s great love for us is through godly mentors. I came from a childhood in which I experienced conditional love. If I pleased and achieved, I felt some form of being loved. But that is not the way God loves. Through a godly mentor I had as a young Christian, I felt unconditionally loved. He was like a loving father who answered my questions, was interested in me, and cheered and showed me the way to live in this new world of spiritual warfare. This experience helped me to get a taste of how God loves me.

Another way we experience God’s love is through the love of a godly spouse or other person who is close to us. The woman God led me to marry is tenderhearted, kind, affectionate, gentle, fun, and loving- all traits of God and gives me a daily experience of his love which is flowing through her life throughout the day.

Thankfulness gives God the credit for the daily ways he shows his love to us. His wisdom to make a good decision, his protection from injury and disease, the courage he gives us to face our fears and grow stronger and listening to us whenever we talk to him. These experiences help us to grow in realizing that God really does love us.

Another way to comprehend God’s love for us is to compare it to the love we have experienced from the world. Reflect on instances when we felt loved by the world and then on the love we know and experienced from God. What differences do we see? It is important to lay aside the understanding of the world’s kind of love and accept the truth that God loves us differently. There is no pressure and no end to God’s love like there is in the world. We are safe in never fearing losing it. As Paul says, “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38, NLT). It is important to lay aside our preconceived experiences of being loved by the world or we may fail to grasp God’s much different and deeper love for us. We may project onto God the world’s way to love and think that God’s love is the same.

God makes no secret about his great love for us. It’s all over the pages of the Bible. Meditate on these verses and passages where God makes clear how much he loves us. He loves us so much he died for us (John 3:16). He delights in us and calms our fears (Zephaniah 3:17). He will never abandon us (Deuteronomy 31:6). And he loves us just the way we are (Isaiah 43:4).

Also, we can repeat to ourselves how he views us until the truth moves from our heads to our hearts. Truths like “I am precious and loved” (Isaiah 43:4), “I am the apple of his eye” (Psalm 17:8) and “Nothing can stop God from loving me” (Romans 8:39,39).

A difficult way to grow in experiencing and understanding how much he loves you is embrace challenging times that encourage us to lean hard on him. We often make idols out of safe and good circumstances that keep us from trusting in his love to get us through. We cling to this world and its benefits instead of abandoning ourselves to his tender and faithful love and care. And because we don’t have to, we often don’t. But when our backs are against the wall, we must trust and rely on his love or else.

I experienced one of those “or else times” soon after I became a Christian. This is a time in which my back was against the wall, and I had no other choice but to depend on God. The job was as a Development Engineer in the Air Force, and it was overwhelming. I had so many projects on my plate that I couldn’t even think about projects in the next week. This worked to some degree, but one night I had to develop next year’s $25 million budget in one night to present the next morning. The night before was as soon as I could make time to do it. And it was a disaster the next morning!

I also led large meeting of engineers in developing improved missile systems even though I had to rely on the competence and honesty of the engineers because of my limited expertise.  God was who I depended upon to enable me to meet the demands of this impossible job. I had no other choice. And he came through miraculously for me enabling the projects to be done timely and in a quality manner that resulted in me receiving a Commendation Medal for meritorious service. How do you figure, if not God? He loved this new child in the faith by enabling me to succeed.

We are saved by an act of faith, but we grow through living a life of faith. We need to be connecting with God’s life throughout every day by practicing spiritual disciplines that help us to access his life. Disciplines like praying Scripture, praying for our needs and for others, reading the Bible, meditating on it, making applications, and committing our problems to God as they occur. We are in a partnership with God and practicing disciplines is part of the light load we carry to have the power to experience his awesome love for us at the heart-level.

It is also helpful to identify the substitutes or idols we use to not depend on God’s love for us. We can be too reliant on the approval from others, the love of a spouse, conforming to popular opinion, and not being real with others. When we get a measure of satisfaction from these substitutes we are not as likely to lean hard on God’s love for us to free us from our fears (1 John 4:19).

Application Questions and Exercises

1. Meditate on John 15:13. As you think about what Jesus says in this verse, what feelings do you have? Any thoughts come to mind that would cause you to doubt Jesus’s love for you despite dying on your behalf? Are these thoughts true?

2. Visualize a person who is or was in your life that has made you feel loved the most. What are your feelings and thoughts? Now, picture yourself in God’s presence and experiencing his love for you which is “as great as the height of the heavens above the earth” (Psalm 103:11, NLT). Are your feelings and thoughts different?

3.  Imagine how your life would be different if you lived throughout the day in comprehending his awesome love for you. Describe some of the differences. What is your response to these differences?

4. What makes it hard for you to live in the experience of his great love? Ask God what is one change he wants you to make that will help you grow in relying on his love for you more.

5. Think of some of your weaknesses and sins. Imagine presenting the worst of these to God. What does he do? Does his imagined response support his incredible love for you? If not, what does the Bible promise is his response to your sins and weaknesses?

6.  Describe the love you experienced growing up in your childhood home. Compare that love to God’s love that you have experienced. In what ways is God’s love for you deeper and richer?

7. We know God loves us because the Bible says he does. Do you trust and rely on this truth to live your life? What evidence in your life reveals you live in this reality? What shows you do not fully depend on this truth?

8. Reflect on your life and recall situations God put you in in which your back was against the wall. How did you grow in faith through these situations? Thank him for each situation and what you experienced from each one that helped you trust that he loved you.

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Imagine living in the presence of someone who is very strong, but is head-over-heels in love with you.

Picture someone whose smile slowly melts away your fears and tensions, for “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18, NAS). Imagine someone who is always there for you, but gives you space when you need it.

Visualize someone who will never reject you no matter how weak and unbelieving you are, for he says, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, NAS). Picture someone who enjoys being with you and delights in who you actually are.

Such is the love God has for us, his children. There are no strings attached. He gives love as a gift. It is too good to be true, yet it is true. We can do nothing to cause God to stop loving us, and we can do nothing to cause him to love us more, for it is already “as high as the heavens are above the earth” (Psalm 103:11, NAS).

Even though he knows our every weakness and sin, he still loves us. His love comes from who he is, not our performance. He wants us to rest in his love, and let him satisfy our needs for worth, safety, and acceptance. He doesn’t want us to keep striving to earn what he has freely given us.

But it will take work to enter this rest as he says to us, “Be diligent to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:11, NAS). We have considerable distorted thinking and believing to overcome.

I have often considered this kind of love as too good to be true and  have largely tried to earn it by pleasing others. In recent years, I have grown more aware of his loving interventions in my daily life.

God wants us to live in this reality of his intimate love for us. He wants us to soak in it and be transformed by it. “Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18, paraphrased). He yearns to transform our lives from striving to be loved, to resting in the glory of being his beloved children.

Imagine how different our lives could be to live more fully in the reality of God’s love for us. Our striving to be approved of would be gone. Our fears would melt away. Our pessimism about the future would change to eager anticipation for his good things.

Comprehending God’s immense love for us is supernatural. Paul prayed we would comprehend the extent of his love for us in Ephesians 3:17-19. Let’s meditate on and pray over the many passages of scripture that describe his love for us, including John 3:16, Romans 8:37-39, and 1 John 3:1. May God then enable us to experience a deeper awareness of his great love.



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My family and society trained me to perform my way into receiving their approval. Just being me was not good enough. I had to please and impress to receive what I wanted from others. This led to me being hard on myself and often demanding more than I could deliver.

These beliefs were then brought into my relationship with God. I believed God was demanding too. My focus became doing the right things and not on being the right person. I also tended to think knowing the Bible was the same as living the Bible. But it wasn’t. Much of what I knew had little impact on my heart.

But our hearts are what God is most interested in. He says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). We can do right but for improper reasons. Our doing will be pleasing to God if our hearts are healthy. “First, wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too” Jesus tells us in Matthew 23:26.

A friend with significant financial problems has been recently serving our church in several capacities. At first church leadership was suspicious of the person’s motives. They thought the person may be doing the ministries to receive help from the church. But after several weeks of witnessing this persons’ behavior, the church concluded their behavior flowed from a healthy heart. They rewarded this person by loaning them a car.

Many of us believe we need to please and impress God in order to receive his approval and love. We don’t see them as gifts but as something to be earned. But he desires us to rely on his grace. We need to pay attention to what we depend on deep within to feel good about ourselves. Does it take a promotion, impressing the people at church, and being the best golfer in the foursome to regard ourselves as important? Or can we accept God’s gift of importance and be whatever he wants?

God desires us to be real with him. He wants us to know the truth about ourselves and to share it with him. “He desires truth in the innermost being and in the hidden part he will make me know wisdom” (Psalm 51:6).

He desires our love. Jesus says the greatest commandment is to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. We can only do this when we receive his gift of being loved with no strings attached. Then he wants us to love others in the same way. God tells us we “love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:9). This means treating people with patience, kindness, and always with their best interests at heart (1 Corinthians 13).

We also have to face the humbling truth we can’t do great things for God without him. He hopes we will depend on him. This week our church revealed a God-size vision for what he plans to do through our church. I was excited but puzzled about how insane these plans were and wondered what impossible things he planned to do through me?

God does not want us to turn away from what he asks of us. Instead, he wants us to rely on “”I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). He hopes we will go beyond our human limitations and be bold enough to trust him for the impossible as he leads.

What does God want from us? He desires our hearts, love, honesty and dependence. May we keep these in focus as we fight the battles of everyday life.






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You Are Loved!

Many of us have a distorted experience of being loved. This is because we had to please and gain approval before we could expect being love. It was conditional, and if we didn’t meet the conditions we could expect criticism, loss of status, and punishment.

However, my Grandma gave me a different experience. I didn’t fear punishment or criticism from her. She seemed to have already decided that I was okay and special and I didn’t feel pressure from her to always perform to certain standards to feel her love. She looked at me with loving eyes and seemed to like what she saw. I relaxed when she was around. God used her to give me a taste of how he loves me.

But for much of early my life, I didn’t experience this kind of love. Not until I became a Christian when I was twenty-six and a couple who introduced me to God and then discipled me, did I experience being deeply loved. Later, my wife enabled me to experience God’s gentleness, affection, and faithfulness. Also, the love of God has shone through in the lives of the people who have been in my small groups.

Then, twelve years ago, I started seminary and began to connect to God in a deeper, more experiential way. I began to relate to God in a more contemplative manner where through faith I sat at the feet of Jesus and received his gift of love.

What Does Being Loved By God Mean?

God’s love for you is not based on you–it’s based on him. You are loved because he is in the business of loving unlovable people, of which we all qualify. So, don’t look for a reason in yourself. Every other kind of love you experience has conditions attached to it. With God’s love, there are no strings attached if you are his child through receiving his gift of salvation.

This means that God is always patient with you. He is kind, forgiving, and always seeks what is best for you. And he believes in you, always hoping and expecting the best from you (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

God’s love for you will never stop. No sin or failure will take God’s love away from you. He loves you so much that he wants to always share life with you. He honors you will his presence. Throughout your life he will plead, urge, and encourage you like a good father does, and care for you as a good mother cares for her children (1 Thessalonians 2:8-12).

Why His Love for You is Important to Experience

Experiencing God’s love drives out your fears, as God says to us,” Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). It’s more than just knowing what the Bible says, but feeling and living like it’s true.

Another reason to experience God’s love is so that you can be godly. The bottom line that God uses to measure your life is how well you have loved. Unless you experience being loved, you can’t pass his love on to others. You fail as a Christian if you fail to love well, both God and others.

A third reason to experience God’s love is to keep you from idols. We have a deep need to feel loved and if that is not met in an intimate relationship with God, we seek to realize it in idols. Those idols could be in a spouse, people’s approval, or being needed. The sad reality is that idols never give you the unconditional love that you long for.

Finally, experiencing God’s love can help you to face the sometimes-terrifying future. After running for his life for many years David could write, “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6). No matter how bad the circumstances looked, he had confidence that God loved him and would bring much good into his years ahead.

May we all grow in accepting that we are loved. This is who we are. This is our primary identity. Not a failure, not an engineer, and not a mother, but a person who is deeply loved by God.

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Wrong Ideas

I have always wanted to be happily married. But as I searched for the “perfect” wife, I had many wrong ideas about what a happy marriage was and how to have one. Two of the biggest wrong ideas were:

  • My wife would solve all my big problems and make me happy
  • Marriage was a getting thing, not a giving thing

Fortunately, I got these wrong ideas corrected before I got married at age 32. This has helped us enjoy a happy marriage for the past 38 years.


The Secret of a Happy Marriage

Probably the most important secret is that the deepest, most satisfying marriages stem from God empowering the relationship. Marriage is God’s idea and he has purposes for it that go beyond our enjoyment. He also is giving a picture to the world of the intimate love relationship that he yearns to have with each of us. He gives us our marriages not just for our pleasure, but also for his ministry to others.

Another secret of a happy marriage is for us husbands to love our wives as God loves us. “What? I can’t do that,” you may say. “That means I need to put her needs ahead of my own and nurture and cherish her” (Ephesians 5:29, paraphrased). But no one said that being happily married was going to be easy- even with God’s help.

Another secret of a happy marriage is that wives need to submit to their husbands in everything (Ephesians 5:24). “Are you crazy? He will walk all over me if I do that,” you may say. But God says, “You wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words” (1 Peter 3:1, NLT).

This doesn’t mean that you wives are to be squashed or dishonored, for God commands that husbands honor their wives and to seek what is best for them.

“But what happens if my husband doesn’t love me as he is supposed to?” you may ask. “Aren’t I free to rebel against him?” No, you aren’t, unless your safety or obedience to God is threatened.

Instead, God wants us to overcome evil with good and to “suffer according to the will of God and entrust ourselves to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19).

This also applies to us husbands when our wives are rebellious. We are still to love them and to treat them with dignity and respect.

Final Thoughts

Satan hates godly marriages. This is probably why marriages are in such bad shape these days. We can’t have a godly and happy marriage without God’s protection from the One who comes to steal, kill and destroy. May we learn to rely on God to help us fulfill our responsibilities so that we can have a deep, satisfying, and happy marriage that God can use to bring much praise to himself.

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Because God Loves Us

A new year is before me. A year of growth and opportunity! Yet, it will probably have heartache and challenge too. This makes me feel anxious as I expect some trials and tribulations.

Perhaps, it’s because I can’t control what the new year will bring that makes me nervous. I know God controls what the new year will bring, but what he brings does not always feel good. And that is what makes me scared.

What We Can Expect in the New Year

So, what can we expect from our loving Father in the new year?

Because he loves us, we can expect many good things in the new year. We are his kids for Pete’s sake! (1 John 3:1). “Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father” (James 1:17).

Although we will not always perform well as Christians in the new year, we can still expect his compassionate response to us. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Because he loves us, we can expect that he will decrease our fears as we experience his loving presence. “Experiencing his love gets rid of our fears (1 John 4:18, paraphrased).

A fourth expectation for the new year is that we will experience his kindness, his patience, and his perfect will that will always be for our long-term good (1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Romans 8:28).

How to Experience His Love in the New Year

So, how can we experience all these good things, peace, compassion, and love that we can reasonably expect from our loving Father?

Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Most of us have hardly experienced anything like the Father’s love before- so it’s hard to expect that we will experience that much of it in the new year.

But, we can grow in living in this reality.

One thing we can do is to give God the credit as he showers his blessings on us each day. Let’s say thank you to him many times a day, for he is behind every blessing.

Another thing we can do is to seek God in prayer each day. “Let us draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, paraphrased).

A final thing we can do to grow in experiencing God’s love is to use our imagination. God has given us the capacity to picture and experience biblical truth that engages our hearts and not just our brains. I frequently use my Grandma’s House to experience the father’s love at a deep level. It’s only there that I can deeply understand how safe, accepted, and delighted-in I really am.

May we face the unknowns of the new year with confidence because we deeply know that God loves us!




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What should I write about this week? Often I choose to write about some work God has done or is doing in me an exciting way- in hopes it will help you in your journey with God. In many ways, we are all cut from the same cloth.

However, this time I chose a topic that I consider to be the most important truth of the Christian life, not necessarily a truth I live deeply.

That truth is experiencing God’s love for us. It is the reason he saves us from hell, and is the reason he prospers our life. My hope is that my thoughts may help you in your relationship with God.

I have experienced God’s love in dramatic fashion a few times in my life. For example, living in my Grandma’s house as a child, I felt loved and accepted without being good or strong. I could be myself, without fear of rejection. I knew I was loved for being me, not what I did. I could relax, knowing that Grandma would never reject me.

Only in recent years have I realized that this is how God loves me.

Why Experiencing His Love For Us Is Important

Experiencing God’s love for us enables us live the Bible that we study and listen to sermons about. “The goal of the Bible is to help us to become a more loving person” (1 Timothy 1:5, paraphrased). And “How can we love unless we have first experienced God’s love for us” (1 John 4:19, paraphrased).

Our experiencing God’s love enables us to grow to become a mature Christian (Ephesians 3:18-19). To fail to experience his love makes us a noisy gong that others will consider a hypocrite (1 Corinthians 13:1).

If you are a fear-based person like myself, experiencing God’s love will drive out our fears over time. “Perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).

Another reason to experience God’s love for us is so we can trust him in the darkness. So much of life is a mystery to us and we can be clueless to what God is doing and where he is leading us. Experiencing his love for us helps us realize that whatever is happening is for our good because God loves us (1 Corinthians 13:5; Romans 8:28).

How We Experience His Love

So why is it so hard to live our daily lives experiencing God’s deep love for us?

One reason is that we were born not to experience his love – and then our families, school and society trained us that way. We often don’t want God to love us because we are sinners from birth and want to be independent from needing God. We were also trained by the world that there is “no free lunch” and its pure fantasy that God will give us his love without earning it.

These are examples of our heart beliefs that hinder receiving the experience of God’s love for us. Through the Holy Spirit’s help, we need to be freed from these lies, and embrace the truth that God loves us because of who he is, not what we do (Romans 5:8).

I have talked to people who have never experienced this kind of love. If this is our case, the generous use of our imagination to picture what this love would look like in everyday life can help us to experience his love.

We can also experience God’s love for us through a small group fellowship. God often uses his people to love on us and give us a taste of his deep love.

Finally, we need to respond to his inner guidance about when we are not living in the light of his love. Sin can keep us from experiencing his love for us. Acknowledging our sin to God restores the fellowship and connection to God and the reality of his love for us (1 John 1:9).

So, may we seek the most important thing, experiencing God’s love for us!

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Sadly, for many of us, the fact that God loves us makes little or no difference in our lives.

It made little difference in my life for a long time. I acted like I had to earn his love by achieving, doing good things, and being strong. But God loves me without achieving, doing good things, and being strong.

Paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, God says to us, his children, “I am patient with you, I am kind with you, I act in your best interest, I do not hold a grudge towards you, but celebrate your progress in the faith, and I expect you to succeed. I say these things to you because I love you.”

Relying more on God’s love for me has freed me to be who I really am, a dearly loved child of God.

I am freer to do things that are right for me, rather than what gives the most prestige. I am freer to do things for the right reasons, rather than trying to earn his love that I already have. And I can be more honest about my weaknesses, which do not diminish God’s love for me even a “smidgeon.”

What other differences can accepting God’s love us for us make in our lives?

Accepting that God loves us so much that He died on a cross for us will get us to heaven (John 3:16). What a difference that makes?

Relying on the fact that God loves us will require us to reject much of our prior training and how the world operates. What a difference that will make!

Training such as “There is no free lunch” and “God can’t love us unless we earn it”. “But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Yes, it is too good to be true, but it is true that God loves us just the way we are.

Another big difference in living in the reality of God’s love for us is losing many of our fears. Experiencing God’s love for us will drive out our fears and replace them with peace. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” (1John 4:18).

Relying on God’s love for us will also empower us to love others. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We can’t love others like God does unless his love for us has made a difference in our lives.

May the fact that God loves you make a difference in your life. May you avoid the sad fate of “the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard” (Hebrews 4:2).

Ask God to help you to live in the reality of his love for you today. What is one difference you think that it will make?

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