Monday, January 25, 2016

God's Love…More Than You Think

Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loves us. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Not death or life, angels or demons, nothing today or nothing to come…nothing at all can separate us from His love—I mean, just look at what Jesus did for us! What more proof do we need?
Romans 8:37-39

When you think of God's love, what comes to mind? He loves me…He forgives me…He loves me in spite of my sin, weakness, and shortcomings?  I certainly hope you believe that, because it's true. His love is for everyone, it's unconditional, and it's free. There is nothing you can do to earn God's love or make Him love you more. 

Your only barrier to experiencing His love is receiving it—but even if you don't think you deserve His love or try to push it away, His love will still reach you in the form of blessings, protection, care, rescue, and that pull you feel toward choosing what is right: What is truly best for you and others. He loves you too much to leave you completely on your own, and nothing in heaven or on earth can separate you from His love.

Repeat this truth to yourself:

Nothing can separate me from God's love.

If you believe that and are trying to receive as much of His love as you can, I'm sure you have experienced the benefits of believing more deeply. It makes a difference in the way you see God, the way you see yourself, and the way you see others. It brings peace and joy. It leads to greater faith. And it makes you more loving. How else have you seen it make a difference? Each of us has a unique story to tell about how God's love has rescued, transformed, healed, or changed us.

But can we still go deeper? Is there more of His love to receive? Always! As Paul said, May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully…(Eph. 3:19 NLT) We can never reach the end of His love, there's always more for Him to give. But there are also new ways we can think about His love. What do I mean by that? Here are a few examples for you to ponder.

You know God loves you in spite of your mistakes, sins, and failures; He loves you for what you aren't. But do you know He also loves you for who you are? In other words, He doesn't just love you, He likes you. He loves the unique person you are—who He created you to be. He loves your personality: whether you are outgoing or an introvert, perky or melancholy, spontaneous or a planner, funny or serious, analytical or creative, emotional or even-tempered, organized or a scatterbrain, talented or not…You are His unique creation, and He loves you just the way you are.

Repeat this truth to yourself:

He loves me for who I am.

He also believes in you. Whatever your passion is, He loves that about you and wants to see you reach your full potential. He knows you can succeed, and He wants to help you. There is no need to go it alone or prove anything to Him. He knows who you are and who you can be. So believe what He tells you about yourself. Believe it when He says, "You can do this!" And when you feel weary or overwhelmed and He says, "Let me carry you," don't be too prideful to let Him.

Repeat this truth to yourself:

He believes in me, and I'm not on my own.

He invests in you. As much as He likes you for who you are, He knows you can be so much more. He knows you have more love to give, more courage to show, more talent to exercise, more traits to refine, and more hope to endure through whatever challenges you face. Your life is not a random series of events, problems, good times, bad times, struggles, and victories. It's all part of a plan: God's divine purpose for you. From the moment He first thought of you, He designed every detail of your life.

He knew when you would obey and when you would rebel. He knew when others would be there for you and when they would let you down. He knew what your needs would be and how they would shape you and draw you to Him. And even if it hasn't always seemed like it, He's been with you every step of the way. And He's not done yet. He is willing to invest whatever it takes to help you rise above your doubts and fears, your weaknesses, your past hurts, your current obstacles, and any unbelief you are still having about His love for you and your value in His eyes.

Repeat this truth to yourself:

I matter to God;
He has a plan and purpose for me.

He is your biggest fan, your loudest cheerleader, your most encouraging and supportive teacher, your greatest mentor, your defender, your source of strength, and your best friend. In other words, He's got your back! You are His. You are His workmanship. You are His beloved treasure.

Repeat these truths to yourself:

I am His;
I am His workmanship;
I am His beloved treasure.

Maybe you don't believe all that yet, but you want to. You want to feel special, protected, valuable, and loved. You want to be the best version of yourself. You want to make a difference in this world. You want to be or do what seems impossible to you now, but it's not. 

Jesus said so...“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20 NKJV)

How does a tiny mustard seed become the largest plant in the garden? It simply becomes who it was designed by God to be, despite its small beginnings…and you can do the same, if you simply believe.

Praise Him with music and dancing,
for the LORD delights in you.
(Psalm 149:3-4)

Rom. 8:37-39 and Ps. 149:3-4, paraphrase mine.
Love Ring Photo Credit: CC
Mustard Seed Photo Credit: David Turner, February 23, 2005. CC