“Jesus loves you.”
What do you think when you hear these words? What do they mean to you?
“God loves you.”
Is it an overused saying, a trite cliché? Or a phrase that is life-changing, that comforts and refreshes? They are three words that have so much truth and power in them… but three words we often overlook or fail to receive in their fullness.
Do we know in the depths of our being that we are loved completely by God?
Knowing that we are loved… this has been the theme of my morning. On the way to Bible Study, at Bible Study, on the way home… I believe God wants us to know today (and every day!) just how much He loves us.
For the Christian, it can be mechanical to say, and easy to claim that it’s true in your head. But when we can move past the surface level, when we can know and believe and rely on His love… His perfect, faithful, unconditional love can transform us and our lives.
First John 4:16 says, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (NIV)
Here’s that verse in the Amplified (I love how it defines some of the words)…
“And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.”
One more time! Here it is in The Message (I love how simple it is)…
“We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.”
I encourage you to read those verses a few times and let them sink in. You can also look up some other verses on God’s love. John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 13 are so well-known and we can read them without thinking… but when we really read them… let the truth sink in, let the words affect us… God so loved us that He gave His one and only Son for us. (And Jesus loved us so much that he laid down his life for us!) God’s love is patient and kind, it keeps no record of wrongs, it always protects and always perseveres. There’s so much more! Let the Bible come alive to you today, and let it shape who you are and how you see your Heavenly Father.
Wherever you are today in your walk with the Lord… near or far, set free or ashamed, peace-filled or broken… I pray that you would know and believe and rely on the love that your Father in Heaven has individually for you. His love is not dependent upon us and where we are at any given moment… God is love, and His love for us is unconditional.