Some of the most comforting words I heard recently were the words “I love being loved by God”. These words are deep, meaningful words, that can transform a sad heart into a joyful heart. They were shared by a popular female Gospel Minister on television. When I heard them spoken, I felt special, I felt wanted, I felt blessed. Immediately, my thoughts began to flow, and I began to write as I wanted to share about God’s love.
Words can comfort and heal, give assurance and build confidence; that is what these words did for me. Words often help us to bounce back, they often remind us of the truth, of where we need to be heading; they remind us to remain focused.
When God says, “He loves us” what does it mean?
John 3:16 is the perfect explanation of God’s Love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish but have everlasting life” If you read this verse slowly, you would see the extent of God’s love expressed, within the same verse. He loved us to the extent of dying for us. This is extreme, isn’t it? Here we are speaking of the greatest proof of God’s love. You would be seriously blind to doubt that this is not love. No one submitted a plea to God asking him to die for us, in fact, man did not care, we were comfortable and happy in our sinful state, sinking into darkness; we were completely blind.
God’s love is unconditional, he desires for us to come as we are. It means, that there is nothing we can do to deserve his love, it is already offered. It does not matter our race, our educational or family background or our financial status; he is not concerned about such matters; it makes no difference at all. God’s love is a gift to us and all we need to do is receive it and be forever grateful. When God says, “I love you”, he means he is reaching out with all his love, nothing is held back. His love is extended to us, every second, every minute, every day; there is no time limit to God’s love. Circumstances will change, people may change, but God’s love will remain. This is Amazing love, this is everlasting love. I am reminded of the words of Chris Tomlin’s song “Amazing Love, how can it be, that you my King would die for me”. When God says he loves us, he means to the point of dying for us.
Security is offered through God’s love. His love is here to stay, it would keep you safe if you allow it to saturate every part of you. Consider this verse; 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” I honestly cannot think about a better security firm, or device or bullet proof vehicle or building that can keep us as safe as God’s love. Fear is the absence of love, true love, the one that only God can offer.
Today, man is tormented by fear, fear of sickness, fear of death, fear of bankruptcy, fear of the truth, fear of commitment and fear of failure. Fear dominates our lives, hinders us from pursuing meaningful lives. Fear hinders us from conquering fear in our lives. It is only when we wake up and realise, that there is a God of Love, who can rescue us from the torment of fear, would we truly be safe and secure. Our fear would gradually diminish, and we would find ourselves living victorious lives. This amazing love is perfect love and it can remove all our fears.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they had to experience the consequence for their wrong doing, but God’s love for them stood strong. It is the same thing today, if we were to be promiscuous, we would be filled with pain and regret and we may contract a sexually transmittable disease; if we choose to steal from our employer, we would lose our jobs sooner or later; it is called “sowing what we reap”. God’s love is not an escape from our reckless living, but it helps us to pick up the pieces and move on, understanding that He still loves us.
Why is it so important for us to know that God loves us?
If we ought to achieve our purpose in this life, we need God’s love to provide that foundation for success. He gives us a reason to live. Because of God’s love we press on and persevere. You see, failure is inevitable to man because he is flawed, imperfect, unholy and always in need of growth. If we can become free enough to embrace God’s love, we can find our identity. Without purpose and without identity, we are like a boat tossed in stormy winds. Purposeful living calls for sound, confident minds, that is what God’s love offers. We must know who we are and what our mission is in this world if we ought to taste good success. God’s love helps us to see our worth and value and that we have something to give to the world that is unique, needed and profitable.
Think about it, generally, children who are loved and well taken care of, do better in school and move on to be successful in life overall. The support of caring parents, who seek to show unconditional love to them daily, helps them to succeed. Everyone strives better in a happy home. Everyone needs to be part of a family, to feel wanted and connected. Well, God has a spiritual family in which you can feel a sense of belonging and community. You see, God’s intention was always community. He desires relationship with us, communion and sweet fellowship. In turn, he wants us to dwell in harmony with each other. We have complicated matters however, we have decided to seek for love, fulfillment and purpose otherwise, outside of God’s plan, outside of his unconditional and protective love. We seek to appease this inbuilt desire in alternative ways: through our careers, our relationships, adventures and pleasures of all kinds. We search and search and yet, we are not satisfied.
Psalm 107:9 “For he satisfieth the longing soul and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” Nothing else or no one else will do.
God had it all planned for Adam and Eve, a wonderful plan, a wonderful life, but they chose to explore and faced the pain of their own downfall. I am sure you have heard the saying “Only God can satisfy”. You can activate all the search engines of this life and still come up empty. When Eve, the first woman God created, ate of the forbidden fruit, it brought her pain and brokenness; when Sampson chose to be intimate with the wrong woman, he lost his eyesight, when David killed the husband of the woman he lusted after, so he can freely have her to himself, he sank into depression and regret. Whenever, we resist God’s love, we resist his leading and we enter dangerous grounds of self-destruction; there is just no denying of this outcome.
When our temporary source of love and fulfillment falls short, we become broken, we become depressed and lonely and sometimes desperate to ease the pain. Without an understanding and embracing of God’s love, we fall victims to our circumstances. We need to accept that men will fail us, promises will be broken, the systems of this world would crumble, our employers will exploit us, our intimate friends would let us down. The glaring truth is that man is not God, he is human and he would fail us. You and I, are part of that equation, we are subject to fail. Know, however, that God is not like man, his love is one of a kind. He is a faithful best friend that anyone can have.
The only chance man has, to finding true meaning to this life, is through the everlasting love of God. This is the reason we need God’s love. We cannot find true love elsewhere, we would not find purpose that is of substance and eternal value, no, not outside of God’s love.
What hinders us from embracing God’s love?
And yet, we resist. It takes very little for us to trust the things that work for us daily; the chair that we sit on at work, the stairs we use often, our own vehicles, the water flowing from the pipe, the groceries we buy to eat, and the list goes on and on. Taking a step of faith to trust in a God who we cannot see, and touch is un-natural, it takes us outside of our world of comfort and into the unknown, where we submit the rulership of our lives to the unknown God who is supposed to have our back.
Would you be daring enough to say, “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God; thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” Psalm 143:10.
When we submit to God, when we yield, give up, let go and accept God’s rulership, his love enters our heart, it enlightens us and as we embrace it, we are slowly converted from darkness into light, from evil to good, from the “old man” to the “new man”. II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold all things are become new”. God’s love makes such a conversion possible a conversion that is genuine and lasting.
Oh, I wish it was easy, like a walk in the park. We are strong resisters of God’s love. We fear that God would rob us from the fun of this life, the thrill, the pleasure, the fame and the personal glory. Our vision is seriously impaired. We live in a world where popularity is pursued; We want to keep up some measure of goodness but not to be seen as “holy”, we need to have a little dirt as well. It is all about fitting in and fitting in well; it is important that we stay relevant. So, we run the risk of living without God’s love and everything that goes with it. Our pride takes over, our fear of rejection steps in and we resort to false, selfish “feeling good” lives. We are deceived over and over into thinking that we are not accountable to anyone and can live how we please, without having to face consequences. We prefer our independence, we prefer God-less lives that leads to poor decisions and a sense of hopelessness and loss. Instead of embracing God’s love we gamble with our lives and with our days.
Love & hope
Hope says that life for you does not have to be as described above. Hope says that God’s love can make everything new, transformation is possible. It takes faith in the Unknown God who knows you very well. He offers us life in abundance, he is right there on the flip-side of our doubts, waiting to give us a new perspective on life. He offers a new identify and a new perspective; God’s love is pure and gentle. His promises stand firm, he cannot lie. He is the only person in this universe who would never ever disappoint us. We can trust him, we really can. No one has ever trusted God and regretted.
The absence of God’s love means emptiness, an endless search for fulfillment and joy. The presence of God brings about unspeakable joy. Because of God’s love we can be freed from all bondage; bondage of the mind and the past; Love covers all sins. When you experience God’s love your desire for negative, harmful behaviours and practices dwindles and you long to be different, to overcome and to experience God being pleased with you. You learn to love the way God loves.
1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).”
Real meaning is found only in God! Know God’s love; discover your purpose!