How is it possible for God to keep loving us? We fall short, break every rule, willfully disobey Him at every turn and yet His love for us never changes. Remember the saying “love makes the world go round”. If you think about it, really think about it, there is nothing more true. Not the mushy romantic or brotherly feel-good kind of love, but God’s unconditional, completely consuming love. A love so great that God created the world just for us, so His love literally makes the world go round. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31
I feel like we are running around trying to love others as best we can, unfortunately when we’re just trying to do it all on our own, we’re kind of terrible at it. We’re following the examples and experiences of our own lives which may or may not be healthy. We demonstrate love how we feel and accept love, for some of us it may be that we don’t feel lovely or loveable, we don’t love ourselves, or we believe we only deserve a certain kind of love…the conditional kind that stays at arm’s length. If we are unable to get to a place where we can realize and accept God’s love, and love ourselves as He does, we will never be able to love others as God intends. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
For all those who grew up not feeling loved. Those who grew up feeling less than, too little, not enough, unworthy, unlovely, or unwanted, we all need a Holy Spirit intervention. As Christians we know we are all called to love others as Christ loved us, we can’t do that until we can accept that He loved us first. Not because we deserve it, or have earned it, but because we are His. It’s a humbling and comforting thought when it finally sinks in. God loves me. Not because of anything I did, but despite of everything I’ve done. He loves me. More than that, it’s the same for everyone. Regardless of what others may say or think…we’re all int he same place, “This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. ” Romans 3:22-24. So, we don’t even have to measure up to anyone else’s expectations because we’re all equally sinful and in need of God’s healing, restorative love.
God’s love is so immense that we can’t comprehend it’s depths “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 3:17-19
So… if we can’t earn it, don’t deserve it and can’t fathom its vastness…how then can we possibly share it with others? Simple answer, we can’t. Not on our own anyway. We are only able to love out of the love that God pours into us. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”. Ephesians 3:20 We are imperfect images of the original, without His help, without His first loving us, without our cups overflowing from Him onto to others we would not be capable of truly loving anyone…including ourselves.
Each of us spend much of our lives seeking to fill an emptiness within us. We want to be accepted by someone, anyone, for who we are. We are afraid that will never happen, who could love the real us? So, we craft images of ourselves, either a superhero persona or mild-mannered alter ego, anything to be what others will love and accept. However, it doesn’t work, because we know that isn’t really us, they are loving (liking and validating) something else, something other than who we are. So, we keep longing, we keep finding ways to feel loved, lovely, and valued. Nothing works, nothing will ever work. There is nothing in this world that can fill the need within us besides God.
Why is it so hard for us to accept this love, freely given, and without condition? A love that sees us for who we really are and fully embraces us as a beloved child regardless of our behavior? It seems so unlikely, too fantastical, that kind of love doesn’t even happen in the movies. If it doesn’t really exist, why do we crave it? How would we be aware of it, if indeed, it never existed? At some level we’re aware of that love, sitting there waiting for us to claim it. The only thing standing in our way is us, and the power we give to the voices we hear telling us we are not worthy.
There is nothing God loves more than His creation, there is nothing He wouldn’t do to bring us closer to Him to experience that love, not even sacrificing Himself to close the gap that separates us. Dear ones, give yourself permission to be loved. Let Christ’s love begin to permeate your heart, flow into your life and impact those around you. I promise you will not be disappointed; your spirit will be renewed, and hope will fill your heart. “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:5-8
Please help me share the good news of Jesus and how He can change your life, and our world!
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