May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:19 NLT).
Most of us have sung, “Jesus loves me this I know,” and recited “For God so loved the world,” since we were children. Yet, we don’t experience God’s love. Why is that?
We may have been desperately disappointed by people who claim to love us, and now we are skeptical of love–even God’s love.
When we look to any other person besides God to meet all our love needs, we set ourselves up for disappointment. There is no human being alive that can love us as completely and as fully as we need to be loved, and there never will be. Only God can do that.
On the other hand, we may feel betrayed by God Himself. Maybe we’ve prayed fervently for a need and, instead of the situation getting better, it got worse. It’s like God doesn’t care.
Now stubborn independence and pride have taken over. We’re like a pebble in a brook bathed in life-giving water, but because it remains unyielding, it can’t absorb the water.
The Bible tells us that God’s love is available to all:
“But God shows and clearly proves his love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 Amp). “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 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 4:9, 10).
But love is also relational. For us to benefit from God’s love, we need to respond to it in faith and obedience. We need to make our hearts soft so the love of God can penetrate.
“But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him…to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments”
(Psalm 103:17 NRSV).
God’s abundant love is swirling all around us, but we need to reciprocate. How? “By fearing the LORD and obeying His commandments.”
But aren’t we then earning God’s love? No, we are tuning our hearts to be receptive to God’s love. By faith we affirm His love and by our obedience we respond to his love. As we do so, it becomes a heart-felt reality.
Dear God, thank You that You love me always. I want to tune my heart to receive Your love. I want to be alert to all the reminders of your love you scatter throughout the day.
By Helen Lescheid