That God indeed loves us as diabolical sinners, to the point that He actually went to the cross and died for us Rom ; Eph , confounds and baffles the mind, even of the most devout believers.
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By the way, there is no truth more important than this. God loves you unconditionally! No exceptions! If you have to spend 15 minutes a day to reprogram your thinking, do it!
He will fill your mind with a thousand reasons why God does not love you, and he knows every weak spot in your soul where you are most receptive to his cunning lies! That is reality! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Oh, love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong!
This is what gives us our security and our identity in this life — and this is apprehended by faith. Its words have encouraged believers for generations —. In the Old Testament God commands human beings to love Him with their whole being Deut ; ; ,13, 22; ; ,16; Josh ; ; Ps Thus loving God with all our heart means to love God with the deepest, purest, truest part of us, our deepest identity.
The Hebrew term had a broad connotation and carried the general idea of moving ahead with energy and strength; it is used here in the sense of intellectual, willful vigor and determination, carrying both the meaning of mental endeavor and of strength. Thus we are to love the Lord with our entire being. So genuine love for God is intelligent, feeling, willing, and serving. It involves thought, sensitivity, intent, and even action where that is possible and appropriate.
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God never sought empty words or empty ritual from us — His desire has always been for the person himself, not simply what the person possesses; besides, if God truly has the person, He then has everything that person possesses as well. And just as God loves us with His whole being, we are to love Him with our whole being.
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Godly love is measured by what it gives, not by what it might gain; it does not love because love is beneficial but because love is right and good. James reminds us that even the demons believe that God exists; but instead of rejoicing in that belief, they shudder Jam Moreover God will become the object of our affections… the supreme satisfaction of our service… and be a perpetual reference in all we do. Should we fail to love God, we will inevitably lose all true peace of mind. The OT Hebrew word aheb is a direct equivalent of the NT Greek word agapao — which is the love of intelligence, the love of the will, the love of purpose, the love of choice, the love of sacrifice, and the love of obedience.
This love is in contrast to phileo love, the love of attraction and tender affection. The apostle Paul reminded us to let our love abound more and more in all knowledge Phil ; obviously the more we know about God, the more there is to love. What we agapao is what we put first in our lives.
Therefore, to love God is…. Our hearts contain powerful emotions, affections and desires, and our affections are deep currents that steer our life. To determine where our affections truly lie, we need to look at what occupies our time… what motivates our actions… what shapes our aspirations… and what comprises their reward. The essence of loving God is admiring and enjoying all he is. And it is this enjoyment of God that makes all of our other responses truly glorifying to him.
We all know this intuitively as well as from Scripture. Do we feel most honored by the love of those who serve us from the constraints of duty, or from the delights of fellowship? And so it is with God. He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. None of us has arrived at perfect satisfaction in God. We hesitate to do anything for others that will cost us too much or inconvenience us too greatly. It meant allowing Him to die in our place and pay the awful debt of our sins. God proved His love conclusively and irrefutably by sending His Son to the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins Romans ; 1 John That is sacrificial love.
It was no less of a sacrifice for God the Son than it was for God the Father. His willingness to offer Himself was the summit of sacrificial love. Jesus Christ made the supreme sacrifice for us when He died in our place. He was falsely accused, beaten, spit on, crowned with thorns, nailed to a cross, and left to die the most excruciating death known to man. He possessed the power to walk away from it unscathed, yet He voluntarily stayed there and bore that suffering for us. There simply is no greater love John Whenever we are tempted to think that nobody loves us, we need to think of the cross.
1. We can trust in God’s love.
Jesus bore that shame and suffering because He loves us. He values us so highly that He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to secure for us eternal joy. That is the epitome of love. Knowing Him intimately will motivate us to make some sacrifices for the good of others—for our spouses, our children, and other members of the body of Christ.
It will help us give up what we want in order to minister to their needs. In other words, His love is unconditional.
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That certainly is different from our love. We have a tendency to show more love to the people who obviously love us and less love to the ones who do not. We express our love to our spouses and our children when they perform to our expectations and we withhold it from them when they displease us. We shower affection on the lovable children and avoid the belligerent little rascals who look as if they might want to kick us in the shins.
I find it easy to express my love to my wife when she tells me what a wonderful husband I am, but not quite so easy when she scolds me for not taking out the trash. I find it easier to be loving toward my children when they are obeying me willingly, but not quite so easy when they are resisting me. God is not like that. That does not refer to the materials out of which our planet is constructed, but to the world of people.
What It Means to Love God
It does not mean the whole mass of humanity generally; it refers to each individual sinful person. Romans ; Colossians God even loves His enemies—all of them. He does not love us because we are so lovable or because we can somehow make ourselves worthy of His love. We are totally unworthy, yet He prizes us highly and showers His very best on us. It is His love for us that gives us our worth.
God finds great delight and receives great glory when we respond to His love, enter His fellowship, and do His will. In fact, He made us for that purpose. But whether or not we ever return His love, He keeps on extending it to us. There is nothing we can do to make Him love us any more, and nothing we ever do will cause Him to love us any less. He loves us perfectly and completely regardless of how we perform. His love is unconditional. So many of us are performance oriented. Consequently, we treat others the same way.
If they please us, we treat them kindly and considerately. If they displease us, we feel justified in treating them unkindly and unlovingly. Knowing God intimately will help us express love to others when they do not perform to our expectations. Can we see what He is implying? There is no human reason for His love for Israel. They were a rebellious, stiff-necked people. But He loved them simply because He loved them. That is how it is with you and me.
He loves us just because He loves us. Nothing we ever did made Him love us, so nothing we ever do will make Him stop loving us. He loves us when our wives or husbands or parents or children are not treating us as though they love us. He never stops loving us. This message also was given originally to the nation Israel, but its application is for every true child of God. That everlasting love reaches into eternity past. He knew us and loved us before He made us, when we were but a thought in His mind.
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