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UNDERSTANDING AND EXPERIENCING GOD’S LOVE


               UNDERSTANDING AND EXPERIENCING GOD’S LOVE

Have you ever wondered why you were created?  I believe the number one reason that we were created is because God loves us.  That’s right, you were created by God to love and to be loved. His love for us is probably the greatest thing in the entire universe.  The very essence of God’s being, His personality, His very nature---is love.  The motivation for God sending Jesus into this world was love.  One of the most popular verses in all the Bible is, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”  (John 3:16)

The truth is that even though many people today have heard that God loves them, they simply don’t believe it.  They just cannot understand or comprehend the reality of God’s love in their lives.  They can’t grasp something they cannot see.  They haven’t learned how to recognize it and experience it and therefore they don’t know how to embrace it, nurture it, grow in it, or truly enjoy it.  And without knowing or realizing that God loves us, we cannot possibly have hope in our lives.  We will not be aware of the purpose or the meaning that God wants us to have concerning our lives.  God wants us to know a lot about Him, but the most important thing that He wants us to know about Him is the tremendous and awesome love that He has for each and every one of us.  That is why the apostle John could write in I John 4:8, “The one who does not love, does not know God, for God is love.”

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, who taught us by Your Son not to be over-anxious about tomorrow, because You care for us and know our needs: relieve us of the burden of the future, and enable us to trust You as Your children, help us not to cling to life, but to lose it; for the sake of Him whose yoke is easy and burden light, Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
 What are some of the attributes and characteristics of God? 
God’s love is absolutely unconditional. 
There are no “strings attached.”  His love is given freely.  He loved us so much that He gave His only Son to atone for our sins on the cross.  Unconditional love is the purist form of love.  There is no price tag, i.e.  If you do this I will do this.  God does not reject us when we sin and fail Him.  He is waiting with open arms to forgive us.  He does not remember our sins.  Isaiah 43:25 I, yes I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake and remembers your sins no more.

God’s love is perfect and eternal.
Since God is perfect, His love is perfect.  His love is eternal.  God is synonymous with love---God is love.  There is nothing you can do that will cause God to love you less.  God sees you as you are and will be.  David was a shepherd boy but God saw the King in him.  God saw a mighty man of God in a humble servant named Gideon.  Peter was a fisherman, but God saw a leader who would bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.  God saw a lowly maiden named Mary, who bore the Savior of the world in her womb.  Love sees the masterpiece in the lump of clay.

God’s love is personal.
God’s love is personal.  Each and every one of us is special.  Just like each one of our children is special.  God sent Jesus, His Son, to the earth to become like us so we could become more like Him.  He was sent for the atonement of sins.  When Jesus died on the cross, He died for the forgiveness of all sin but it was for each person’s salvation.  That is why it is so important that we have a personal relationship with God through Jesus His Son.  

Without relationship, there is no communication.  Without communication, there is no reciprocity.  How can you love someone if you know them? 

 God’s love is beyond our human understanding.
Trying to understand the love of God through your own understanding is futile.  The world identifies love in so many ways.  In fact, we have brought love down to the level of, “I love ice cream.”  “I love my brand new car!!”  “I love that program on TV.”  It goes on and on.  We have a tendency to cheapen the word love to just a feeling rather than an absolute.  Yes love can be an emotion but when someone you love hurts you, do you fall out of love with them?  1 Cor. Chapter 13 says in essence that you can have spiritual gifts that can do amazing things but do not have love you are nothing.  Love is patient and kind.  It is not envious or haughty.  It does not insist on its own way.  It says that faith, hope, and love abide “but the greatest of these is love. 

God’s love is beyond our human understanding because we look at love through the eyes of our flesh.  God looks at us and He only sees His love for us!!

He is forgiving.
He is always ready to forgive us when we come to Him.  He does not hold our past sins against us.  The only one who does is the enemy, the devil who likes to bring up our past.  Those who think they sit in judgment of others, whether it be the media, politicians, or even some of our so called friends may want to bring up our past but it has already been covered by the blood of Jesus.  So whenever the devil  brings up your past, remind him of his future!!

He answers our prayers.
God answers our prayers.  He may not answer them quickly or the way we want Him to but He answers them.  Sometimes He may say no.  Sometimes He may say yes but it is not the right time.  If we are truly close to the Lord and listen to the Holy Spirit within us then He will give us the desires of our heart because we are in sync with Him.

He heals us.
God is the healer.  It is through Him that we receive healing.  It is not only physical healing but it could be emotional and psychological healing that we are in need of.  Psalm 147:3 says, He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (curing their pains and their sorrows).  In Exodus 15 it says, “I am the Lord Who heals you.”

We had a miracle in our own family where our granddaughter, Anastasia, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on one of her kidneys before she was born.  Our family and friends stood on the Word of God and had faith that she would be healed.  When she was born the doctors had to remove a kidney where the tumor was wrapped around and when they did a biopsy of the tumor, they said that it was benign!!  By the way, Anastasia in Greek means resurrection!!

I am sure many of you have had stories of miracles in your own lives. Some might say why doesn’t God heal everyone?  The answer is we don’t know.  I don’t think anyone can say for sure but we do know that this tent, this body that our spirit lives in is not meant to live forever and there is appointed a time for each person to die.  We just have to live each day to the fullest glorifying Him each day and doing what He has asked us to do which is the great commission to spread the Gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons and live the life that God intended for us on whatever path He leads us.

He is our loving Father.
He is our loving Father.  He knows us better than anyone.  He is always there because He is omnipresent.  We cannot escape the love of the Father.  For some the concept of a loving father is foreign because some have been abused by their own fathers, or they have been abandoned by their own fathers so sometimes it is hard to come into a relationship with a loving father but God’s love is unconditional. 

We have talked about the attributes and the love that God has for us and let’s not forget that His greatest love letter to us is the Holy Bible which declares His love for us by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus to die for us.  We know that God’s love is unconditional, perfect, eternal, personal, beyond our understanding, measureless and limitless.

We can find God’s will for us through scripture; surrendering our will to His; seeking godly counsel; knowing God has a specific plan for our lives; listen to God’s voice; and looking at circumstances.

When God doesn’t make sense we can know that He is always present in our lives even when He seems absent.  We know that God’s timing is perfect even when He appears to be very late.  For inexplicable reasons we know that we are precious to God.  We cannot put God in a box.  Nothing we can ever do will change His love for us and He is always there to welcome us and forgive us because He loves us so much.

Can any of us truly understand Almighty God’s love for us?  I think from eternity to eternity, not one of us will ever fully understand God’s love for us but we can start experiencing God’s love in our everyday lives by getting to know Him better through prayer, and reading and meditating on God’s Word. 

Through knowing Him and His Word we can seek His will for our lives and when God doesn’t make sense, maybe just by our simple surrender to His will, knowing that He has a perfect plan and that through trials and tribulations He is always there.  (song—Always I Am Here)

If you would like to have a personal relationship with God, say this prayer with me:
Dear God,
I come to You in the name of Jesus
I know that I am a sinner
I ask you to forgive me of all my sins
I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross
To take away my sins
I believe that He was raised from the dead
I ask you Jesus, to come into my heart
Take over my life and make me whole
I surrender to you Jesus now and forever.  Amen











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