A few years ago, this statement, God Loves You, was everywhere. There was often the word Smile attached to it. Every other car seemed to have it as a bumper sticker. People used to add things to it, ‘God loves you but I find you really difficult’. ‘God loves you! At least someone does’. ‘God loves you and I am trying too but it is so hard’. etc etc I don’t think that anyone really got the message. God Loves You!
Today as we gather in our churches, small, bible or prayer groups we spend hours looking at the word and hearing that God Loves You! Again I don’t think anyone really gets the message.
In church we stand and we worship. In our worship songs we have lyrics that explain how much God Loves You but again we don’t get it.
We sit at home and read the Bible and spend time finding out about God’s Love. We pray and God tells us of His Love. But we really don’t get it.
The reason I say that is, if we did get it. we would change the world. Nothing could stop us. Everywhere we go we would be a people who were Loved by God. Who could stop us? What could get in our way? God Loves Me!! Either we don’t understand God, or we don’t understand love, or we really, deep down, don’t believe it!!!
Let’s go through the three statements and see where our problem might lie.
We don’t understand God
The whole nature of God revolves around Love. If we look in the Bible at the verses that show us the character of God, we can’t ever get away from Love as being an important aspect of the whole essence of God.
“……..but his favour lasts a lifetime; …….” (Psalm 30 v 5)
“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” (Psalm 145 v 8)
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah ch 49 v 15 -16)
“….you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you …..” (Isaiah ch 43 v 9)
Then of course we have the Apostle John’s first letter,
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.“ (1John ch 4 v 8)
“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” (1 John ch 4 v 16)
The whole of God’s character is about Love. The interesting aspect of the last two quotes is that they were written by a man who was called “The disciple whom Jesus loved”. He knew first hand the character of God because he had spent time with the one who had come to show us the character of God, Jesus.
“I and the Father are one.” (John 10 v 30)
“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14 v20)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John ch 1 v 1) and
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John ch 1 v 14)
So, in Jesus we can see how wonderfully Loving our God is. He doesn’t look at rank or favour. He treats everyone the same,no respecter of persons. He ate with those who were thought of as less than. He touched lepers, who were the lowest of society. He healed the sick. Set free the people who were trapped by the enemy. This is your God.
God is the Creator of All Things, Full of Wisdom, Without Measure, Sovereign, Holy, Omnipresent (present everywhere), Omniscient (His knowledge is infinite, You can’t hide anything from Him), He is also Faithful and more than anything, Full of Love.
This awesome God, Loves You. Shouldn’t that be a world changer. He Loves You. Say it again and again. This Awesome God (and you can go through the list above) Loves Me.
What can stop us? Something does. Perhaps it is in the next point?
We don’t understand Love
What is Love? There are millions of songs that speak about it. Apparently it is ‘All You Need’. There are poems that tell us of its virtue. There are stories, films, plays and musicals that tell us of the effects of Love! So, what is it?
We have got the answer for who is Love and that is God, as shown to us by Jesus, therefore the answer to what is love can be seen in the work of Jesus. I don’t want to go into too much detail here. I have a feeling that whoever reads this will have some idea of the kind of person that Jesus was and I have covered some aspect of Him under the last heading. To find the answer to what is Love you can’t go to far wrong by looking at 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, the famous Love chapter written by the Apostle Paul.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Cor 13 v 4 – 8)
This is only a small part of what Love is, but even this blows your mind. Many people are really condemned by this passage. They feel that if they are to show Love like this, they come up short. Remember God doesn’t condemn us, so this chapter is not to show us our failures but to show us the true nature of Love and therefore the true nature of God. Just for an experiment try replacing the word Love with the word God. for example, God is patient, God is kind, God is not envious, God is not boastful, God is not proud etc etc. We see here what God’s Love for us is really like. His Love is immeasurable.
“For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies”(Psalm 108 v 4)
All this amazing Love and we haven’t even mentioned the greatest example of His Love:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John ch3 v 16)
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom ch 5 v 8)
Again this is life changing! This is world changing! This is the Love that is ours! This is how much we are loved! We are Loved by a God who sees no wrong in us, who thinks highly of us and more than anything sent the Son who He dearly Loved to die on a cross so that our sins can be forgiven and we can have the gift of eternal life. Why then doesn’t it have the impact on the world as it should. Perhaps it is in the next point?
We don’t really believe God Love’s us
I believe that as you read the last two points you have known what God is like and the nature of Love. I think we have come to the crux of the problem. We can see that we have an awesome God who loves us and and who loves us more than we can ever understand but it doesn’t have the impact on those around us as it should. We know all this in our heads but in our hearts we have a different story.
Many of us are disappointed in God. We are not where we thought we would be. We are still struggling with the same old sin. We are still sick. We are lonely. Some of us struggle with mental illness and put this down to God not being there. Christians have hurt us and we blame God. The church has rejected us and we blame God. We are still broke. We thought we would be leaders by now. He still hasn’t answered my prayer from a month/year/2 years/5 years/10 years or more ago! My wife/husband left me. My children/parents don’t speak to me. The church leaders don’t understand me, they don’t even see me. There are a thousands of these thoughts and we put this down to the fact that God doesn’t really Love us.
You see this has a knock on affect when we are with our friends who don’t believe in God, or our work/college/school mates. We don’t share about God because we are not sure He will come up with the goods for them because He hasn’t appeared to always do so for us! If we are not sure of God’s love it will reflect outwardly from us!
Is this speaking to you? Have you been disappointed by God or God’s people? Do you doubt that God really Loves you?
You are not the only one. I have come across many Christians recently who have felt God has abandoned them in their calling. Who have been hurt by church leaders, may be twenty years ago but it still holds them back. They believe that if God could hurt them so much then, He could allow it again. Finances are a big sticking point at the moment. There are many Christians who are struggling and they put this down to God not Loving them.
How can we change this? How can we become more secure in God’s Love. To be honest there is no easy answer.
“There you go,” you say, “I have read all this and he still hasn’t a clue.”
Firstly may I congratulate you on figuring out I am a guy and secondly I never actually said that I didn’t have an answer, only that the answer is not an easy one!!!!! The reason that it is not easy is that it requires work on your part. You have told yourself a lie for such a long time that you need to change your way of thinking. As the Apostle Paul says…… renew your mind.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom ch 12 v 2)
By renewing the way you think, you will be able to test God’s good, pleasing and perfect will. You see, the bottom line is that God cannot not Love you. It is His nature to Love. That is fact. Say it out loud, God is Love and HE LOVES ME!! There is no doubt in this. We have been telling ourselves a lie and we know who the father of lies is, satan, who wants to destroy our relationship with God. As I have mentioned in a previous post, my friend YBW calls this, partnering. We have chosen to listen, partner, with the enemy rather than believe God.
Somewhere along the line, we have believed that God has to answer prayer in a certain time frame. Or we have believed that because a certain promotion or acknowledgement hasn’t come along when we thought it would, then God doesn’t Love us.
He wants the best for you and only the very best. Jesus often uses the analogy of an earthly father and compares it with how God’s Love is far more superior. Father’s do not give their children everything they ask for or if they do they will be heading for trouble. God knows what he has in store for you. God/Love never fails! He can’t fail you. He is unable to let you go! He will pursue you.
One of the first actions you take is to forgive God. That’s correct forgive God. Don’t hold grudges against anyone especially God. Forgive Him. God is gracious enough to let you do this because He knows the principle behind it. Then ask God to forgive you for partnering with the enemy. Finally start declaring scriptures about God’s unfailing Love. If you are not sure what declaring is all about, have a look at the first two posts of the blog. You will soon start to believe what the Bible says and then we will see a difference in those around us. Declaring what God says about you will change your whole perspective of Him.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.“ (2 Cor ch 4 v 18)
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.“ (Col ch 3 v2
How amazing it will be, to be a people who actually believed that we have the Creator of the whole Universe Loving us. What can stop us? Who can stop us. I believe that by trusting in God and not fighting against Him we can see a great change in the impact that the body of Christ can have on the world.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans ch 8 v 31)
“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” (Romans ch 8 v 33)
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans ch 8 v 35)
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans ch 8 v 37 – 39)
The above verses are true but they are also Truth. Their truth will never change. It is how the kingdom of God works. This is how I know we will radically change the world around us because God says we will. You have a choice, will you believe the Truth about God or will you continue to partner with the father of all lies. It is your choice. It is easier to stick with what you have been saying for years but you will miss out on all that God has for you. If nothing can separate you from God’s love, nothing can. It is very simple. God doesn’t ever promise that there won’t be hardship but God’s love will be there. His Love is life changing if you dwell in it. It will change those lives around you too.
So make sure we:
“…. demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”(2Cor ch 10 v 5)
Please don’t let the enemy rob you of what God wants for you. Be vigilant! Take every thought captive. A thought is just a thought, it is not truth. Check your thoughts before you partner with them. Declare truth.“God LOVES Me“
In a later post my friend YBW is going to go into more detail about God’s love, so look out for that.