Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Believe That God Loves You

You don't have to go looking for love when it's where you come from. ~ Werner Erhard
We hear a lot about love. We know we are supposed to love God and one another. The Apostle Paul told the Ephesians to stay rooted and grounded in love. Heck, there's a whole chapter that explains what it means to love - and some of it is not easy. In fact, it's often downright difficult.
• take no account of a suffered wrong
• suffer long and stay kind
• don't be envious or proud
• don't be rude or impatient
• don't be touchy, fretful or resentful
• believe the best of every person (don't gossip or tell tales!)
How does God expect you to do all that? "It's not fair," you might think.
Yet He set the standard and the example. You see, that chapter actually explains how God loves you - unconditionally, eternally and without reservation. He started it - the Love thing!
Before creation, He knew He wanted a family to love and fellowship with, someone to spend time with and talk with, someone to share with and give to. He walked with Adam in the cool of the day. He talked with Abraham and Moses. And He wants to fellowship with you as a child of His heart. And hopefully, like a child, you love Him because He first loved you (I John 4:19).
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us (1 John 4:16). What does His love mean for you?
His mercy is new every morning. He is infinitely patient and kind. He gives grace and favor. He delights in your prosperity. He gives you every good and perfect gift. He loves you.
In the heavenly Throne Room, the angels asked God, "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor" (Ps. 8:4-5). The word 'angels' is actually the Hebrew word Elohim, God Himself. You are a little lower than God, as a child is to a parent. You are an astonishing being, created by God's own hand, created in His image.
God is not proud, (His Word cautions about pride) but He is pleased with you. Remember what He said of His Only Son? "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." That was when He had only one Son, Jesus. Since the Resurrection, God has 'many sons'. Jesus is now the firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8:29). It pleases God to have you in His family (I Cor. 12:18).
People often tell me I look 'just like' my mom. Well, (in the spirit) you look just like your Abba, Father.
The older I get, the more I even sound like my mom - saying things to my daughter that Mom said to me. Why? Because there was wisdom in her words that I didn't recognize at the time. Now I understand that her wisdom works.
It's the same with God's Word. There is wisdom and power in His every word. If you will speak 'just like your Daddy', saying what He said with faith in His wisdom, His Word will change your circumstances. Why did He give you His Word? Because He loves you and wants you to have His wisdom and understanding.
Have you ever asked a child, "Who did this?" You already know the answer, but you want them to confess so it's out in the open and can be dealt with. God is no different.
He knows what you did, long before you admit it. But, no matter what you do, if you ask, God forgives immediately (no guilt or condemnation, just correction, as a parent corrects his child). For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a son in whom He delights (Prov. 3:12). He delights in you! He forgets your mistakes and wrong-doing. He remembers your transgressions no more. They're gone, erased from the ledger.
God always believes the best of you and wants the best for you! We all know the verse: God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) God gave you Jesus - His best, most precious gift, because He loves you just as much as He loves Jesus.
God has you on His mind. He prepared a place for you before you were born, both here and in heaven. He has a good plan for your life and is constantly working out that plan for your benefit and growth. He wants what's best for you, like any loving parent does. He wants you to become your best, and He's pleased when you do. And He wants to give His best to you.
Jesus understood His Father's mission and His heart. In Matthew, He explained that the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father [you favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (v. 25:34 AMP)
You are an heir of the most powerful being ever, Almighty God. He has always wanted to give you everything - to bless you exceeding abundantly above all your can ask or think! Jesus is now your Brother, and you have been made to sit together in heavenly places with Him (Eph. 2:6). Spiritually, you are already seated in God's presence, surrounded and infused with His Love.
His blessing in your life flows from His great love for you. Consider these verses:
• I have loved you, says the LORD. (Mal. 1:2)
• ... for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me [Jesus], and have believed that I came forth from God (John 16:27)
• ... the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you (Deut. 23:5)
• Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Rom. 5:5)
• But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8)
• Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work (2 Thess. 2:16-17).
• Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God! (1 John 3:1)
Those are just a few of the Scriptures that proclaim God's intense love for you. If you study the Bible with intent, it's easy to see that His Love is proclaimed from Genesis to Revelation. As far back as Abraham, He planned for you to be blessed (Gen. 22:18). Even before that, 'in the beginning', the very first book of the Bible, God blessed them saying... He spoke blessing words over His creation, man. He included you when He said it, and those words are still as powerful today as they were when God first spoke them.
When God, at the end of the passage in I Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) proclaims love never fails (v. 8) it's because, according to I John 4:8 "God is love" and God never fails. Whatever He says has to happen because He spoke it. His Words have creative power. There has not failed one word of all His good promise (I Kings 8:56).
Who are those promises for? You! Why has he made so many promises? Because He loves you and wants you to have the very best in life.
• ... the goodness of God endures continually (Ps. 52:1)
• His mercy is everlasting (Ps. 100:5)
• He will not leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:6)
• ... no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11)
• If God is for [you], who can be against [you]? (Rom. 8:31)
• Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2)
There are dozens of verses like those that show His love, mercy, compassion, favor and blessing. He loves you! Beyond comprehension or reason. He loves you no matter what you may have done. Regardless of the mistakes you've made or the things you've neglected to do.
More than anything, He wants you to understand how special you are to Him. He values you as one of the treasures of His heart. The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zeph. 3:17) God loves you.
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