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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Receive God’s Love

To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.

—Timothy Keller


Believing God loves us is absolutely necessary to stand against any difficulty life throws at us. We fully trust God when we know we can’t trust ourselves. Knowing we are loved by God liberates us from pretense. We have nothing to prove. We can be honest because we trust His opinion of us. His opinion is the one that matters. Knowing we are loved by God humbles us. There is no hindrance in receiving from Him. We receive more and more grace (James 4:6).


God fully knows and loves us. He created us. He could have done nothing more to prove His love than to send His Son to die for us. I hear Christians say they are not sure God loves them. They deal with the fear that God could never accept and approve of them. They compare God’s unconditional love to human love because their earthly relationships are conditional on their performance. Believing what we do in any way earns us righteousness only proves our self-righteousness.


God quits judging your performance when you believe in Jesus as your Savior. God sees the righteousness of His Son in you. And He judges Jesus’ redemption for you as perfect. Complete. Finished. God sees you justified by the blood of His Son. He is love (1 John 4:8). He doesn’t love you because you are lovely. He loves you because love is who He is. 


Many believers have a hard time accepting the truth that God loves them. Since we have been taught to look for our imperfections and fix them, we believe God also looks for our flaws. Just what do we do each time we look in a mirror?  We look to see what doesn’t look right. We never look for what is good. God doesn’t do that. He doesn’t search for our imperfections. He covers them with His love (1 Peter 4:8). He wants us to look into the mirror of His Word to know how He sees us, and He wants us to always remember it (James 1:23-24).


The world says you have to prove you are worthy of its love. It says, “I love you if” or “I love you when.” God says, “I love you completely. There is nothing to do or nothing you have to add to my love.” Paul emphasized that this love of God is the foundation of our relationship with Him.


“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV).


God wants you to grasp how abundant and fulfilling His love is for you. He wants to stir up your childlike faith and give you hope for the future. When your past is stained by hurt and disillusionment, you easily put up barriers to God’s love. Never keep the One who gave His life for you at a distance. Where the Holy Spirit is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). God is the only One who can heal your hurts and disappointments.


If you have trouble trusting God or believing His promises—if you are struggling with fear, you don’t have a faith issue. You have yet to know how much God loves you. You haven’t grasped in your heart how wide, long, high, and deep is the love of Jesus for you. When you have a revelation of His unconditional love for you, the barriers you have erected come down. You don’t have to struggle anymore to put your measure of faith in God. You trust Him because you know how much He loves you. 


“There is no fear in love,” Paul writes, “but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).


The perfect love of God revealed in Jesus Christ is the truth that casts out your fear. His perfect love conquers fear. It releases God’s power in our lives. Instead of running from our problems, His love gives us the strength to stand and overcome them.


The Greek word for “no” in 1 John 4:18 signifies a complete and absolute negative (Strong’s Concordance). This means there is “zero” fear in God’s love. If we are dealing with fear, we are not experiencing God’s love perfectly in our lives. His perfect agape love casts out fear.


Fear torments us. Christians who serve God out of fear serve God out of torment. Many believers turn away from God—not because they don’t believe He is there—but because they have been taught to serve Him out of fear. They just don’t measure up, and they know it. So, to escape torment, they turn away from God. If they just knew that despite their sins, God still loves them. If they just realized the perfect love God has for them, His goodness would draw them in repentance back to Him (Romans 2:4).


When life gets hard, the enemy attacks making us question God’s love. That is why it is so important to know the Word and to be “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus came to prove the Father’s love and invite us into a covenant relationship with Him—a relationship based on His love for us and not based on our performance.


If we still fear the Lord’s punishment or fear He will not help us, our love isn’t perfect. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to search the height, depth, length, and breadth of God’s love for us (Ephesians 3:14-19).


God didn’t send His love because He pitied us. He sent Jesus because He loved us. Jesus stepped right into our struggles. He experienced our pains and disappointments. He was tempted as we are (Hebrews 4:15). He was wounded for us so we might be healed in Him.


Open your heart to the amazing love of your wounded, yet victorious healer. Know that He has a good plan for your life. His thoughts toward you are of peace (Jeremiah 29:11). He rejoices over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Don’t fall into the enemy’s trap of trying to earn God’s love. Never turn the limitations of human love into your expectations of God’s love. Receive His love that surpasses everything. Let His love inspire you to respond in faith.




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