Has anyone ever told you that God loves you? Have you ever read the Bible and discovered the Bible says, “God loves you.”
Hearing others say that “God loves you” doesn’t always convince you that God loves you, nor does knowing the Bible says, “God loves you,” lead you to believe it. God’s love is something you come to understand through a relationship with Him.
You experience the love of God through the person of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection assure you of God’s love for you. The Holy Spirit reveals God’s love to you through the Bible and empowers you to experience God’s love personally.
Before you continue reading, take a moment to reflect on these questions.
- How does hearing God loves you make you feel?
- Do you believe God loves you, not just emotionally or intellectually, but experientially?
- Are you personally in a relationship with God and experiencing His love?
God is Love. Love is who God is – His character. Love existed in God before God created human beings. Love is how God has defined Himself. Love is how God chooses to be known.
Love is a person.
In this perfect, divine relationship – the Godhead – three persons in one – God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit – are in relationship with one another, and all three persons express perfect love for one another without losing themselves or diminishing the other.
It may seem impossible for you to fathom entering this perfect relationship with God because of your earthly relationship experiences with love. You fight against losing yourself in love or being defined by another. You may have been taught to avoid close attachment as protection or not to let anyone define you. Losing yourself in a relationship with another is often associated with unhealthy emotions.
But what do you do with this awareness that God wants to enter a loving relationship with YOU? God wants you to know Him. God wants to give you His unconditional love. To claim you know God requires that you experience God’s love personally. You can’t know God apart from experiencing His love. So, what does entering a loving relationship with God look like, and how does it happen?
Jesus shows us how to accept God’s love.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I love you?” This statement is only as meaningful as the love you have experienced from the person who says it. God declares He loves you with words – in the Bible. Still, God also demonstrates He loves you by sending Jesus so that you can know what it looks like to be in a loving relationship with God and to understand how you can enter a loving relationship with God.
Jesus’ life, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection reveal God and His love and point back to the source of love – namely God, Himself. God wants you to know Him and experience His love, so Jesus seeks to bring you back in relationship with God (John 3:17) and demonstrates God’s character of love toward you (John 3:16) through paying the price of both love and justice on the cross for you.
When you experience the genuine but not perfect love of another human being (say a partner, your family, or friend), the love of God becomes more believable to you. You don’t feel helpless in love but freer to give and receive love. You don’t feel scared to love but more courageous to give and receive love. You don’t feel exposed but more secure to give and receive love.
Jesus, the Son, trusts God, the Father, by accepting God’s unconditional love when Jesus prays, “not my will but yours be done” (Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42). Jesus believes God is truly loving by allowing Jesus to die on the cross for you. How can this be? Jesus fully believes and trusts in God’s love. God is love. Jesus knows this fact about God and has experienced His love before Jesus ever stepped into creation or hung on the cross. Jesus is God and is intimately connected with God, the Father, and God, the Holy Spirit, in perfect love.
You look to Jesus to interpret all your thoughts and ideas about God and His love.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus shows how humans often recoil in fear, anxiety, and confusion when they experience hardship, difficulties, and unfathomable circumstances. How can Jesus respond with complete trust – no fear – to His knowledge of His impending trial, death, burial, and resurrection? Jesus knows, both intellectually and experientially, that God’s perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). Jesus wholeheartedly trusts God and His love to endure the cross to show you what God’s love looks like. Jesus’ circumstances and response don’t make Jesus question God’s love but rather serve as an example of how knowing God’s love combats the fear brought on by difficult life circumstances. Jesus also exemplifies trusting and admitting you need and want God’s unconditional love. You are made for God’s love. Being loved by God is the identity you seek but possibly are unaware you desire.
God loves you unconditionally.
Does this statement that “God loves you unconditionally” produce anxiety, fear, and guilt in you or does it produce trust, courage, and blamelessness?
God has committed to you to love you unconditionally, but you often resist God’s unconditional love. Unconditional love goes against the belief that you should get what you deserve. Unconditional love is in opposition to how the world defines love and maybe how you have experienced love.
Believing that God loves you unconditionally may seem irrational or scary. But what if you accept God’s unconditional love – you would no longer know about God’s love, but you would experience God’s love personally. You don’t earn it. You don’t perform to get it. You daily accept that God loves you, and you allow this knowledge to grow and influence your entire existence, every other relationship you have, and all the things you do (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
In Mark 8:35, Jesus explains what it looks like to enter a relationship with God. You willingly lose your life to embrace God’s unconditional love and allow God to transform you by His perfect love into a conduit of His love so that others who encounter you know and experience Him – His love through you. Daily accepting you are loved by God and knowing who you are – unconditionally loved by God – brings clarity and stability to your life.
When you accept Jesus’ love that comes from the Father and is made aware by the Holy Spirit – you enter a forever loving relationship with God. God commits never to stop loving you (Romans 8:35-39).
Two common obstacles to experiencing this unconditional, everlasting love of God are pride and fear. Pride believes you don’t need or want God’s love. You try to convince yourself you are perfectly fine without God’s love. Fear is your emotional response to anticipating pain and harm if you need, want, or accept God’s love as your own.
Regardless of your pride or fear, God loves you.
God created you to be a recipient of His perfect love. God is love. Receiving God’s unconditional love not only fulfills your greatest desire but also creates in you the capacity to love others.
Are you willing to believe that God loves you unconditionally – not that God loves other people, but that God loves you? Will you trust God enough to be a recipient of His unconditional love?
Would you consider accepting God’s unconditional love to enter a loving relationship with Him forever? Don’t let pride or fear stop you from embracing your God-given courage to experience the love God intended for you!
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