“God loves you, not because of who you are or what you do, but because of who He is.”
God loves you. How many times have you heard that? Probably too many to count, right? Well, let me ask you this: how many times have you believed it? Better yet, how many times have you received it? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the latter has happened far less than the former. We hear that God loves us but, more often than not, we don’t believe it or receive it. As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, this shouldn’t be the case. As children of the Most High God, being loved is our birthright.
God Is Love AND He Loves You
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11).
All of mankind, whether they believe in Jesus Christ or not, was created in the image and according to the likeness of God (Genesis 1:26). God is love. He can’t do anything other than love because He does not change or violate His character. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Now, I could just stop here: God is love. However, if I did, that would be an incomplete picture.
God not only loves, but His love has a designated recipient: you, me, and all of mankind. John 3:16 states: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Mankind is a part of the world that God loves. Thus, God loves you and me. Furthermore, God’s love was manifested toward us when He sent Jesus into the earth to die on the cross for our sins. Because of the great love of the Father manifested through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been reconciled back to God, our Father. Understand that God has demonstrated the greatest love to us. John 15:13 declares “greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” My brothers and sisters, we are dearly loved and accepted children of God. We are no longer destined for the death and condemnation that we deserve. We have passed from death to life. We are loved now and for all of eternity because of Jesus Christ.
Receiving God’s Love
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
The miraculous aspect about Romans 5:8 is that God’s love for us is not dependent upon who we are or what we do, but who He is. While we were still sinners and devoid of any love for Him, He loved us and sent Jesus to die for us. How miraculous is that? Romans 5:8 shows us that God loves us because He loves us. Period. There is nothing we can do, or not do, to make Him love us any more or any less. His love for us is settled now and for all of eternity. The only thing we can do is receive it.
However, I don’t know about you all, but believing and receiving God’s love was one of the most difficult things that I’ve done in my relationship with God. Because of the lies and deception of Satan, I couldn’t receive God’s love because (1) I felt unworthy based on what I had done, and (2) I felt that because I wasn’t worthy, I had to earn God’s love through performance.
I had to understand, as many of you had or will have to understand, I can’t earn God’s love. Unfortunately, we live in a world full of conditions. Our childhood, relationships, and life experiences may lead us to believe that we are loved in condition to what we do. Some of the people we encounter in life make us feel that we are loved in condition to what we do for them or how we make them feel. When those conditions are no longer met, their love for us conveniently disappears. However, just because some human beings work that way doesn’t mean that God does. God loves us unconditionally. His love is not given or withheld based off what we do or don’t do. His love is given freely—irrespective of what we do for Him or how we make Him feel. His love is predicated upon Him, not us or our behavior.
Moreover, I had to understand that I’m not worthy of God’s love. Never will I be worthy of Jesus Christ coming to earth in flesh to die for my sins—sins He didn’t commit. Never will I be worthy of the suffering He endured for me (See Isaiah 53). Never will I be worthy of Jesus dying so I can live. I am not worthy in and of myself, but thank God for His great love, mercy and grace! I don’t have to punish and condemn myself for what I have done or will do. No amount of self-inflicted punishment or condemnation will make me worthy. The shed blood of Jesus Christ has remitted every sin that I have committed or will ever commit. Jesus makes me worthy. Jesus makes all of us who believe in Him worthy!
Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Therefore, I am not a special species of human that has sinned against God—neither are you. All of mankind has sinned against God and fallen short of His glory. However, we have been made right (righteous) by God’s grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (See Romans 3:24).
Just like God’s love, you must receive the gift of grace too! Because grace is a gift from God you cannot earn: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Aren’t you all grateful that we serve a merciful God? Thank God that He doesn’t give us what we deserve—death and condemnation. Because of grace, He gives us what we DON’T deserve—love and eternal life in Jesus Christ.
The Greatest Gift
The greatest gift of true love was revealed and manifested through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (See 1 Corinthians 13:13; John 14:7-11). This great love…
- Suffers long
- Is kind
- Does not envy
- Does not parade itself
- Is not puffed (arrogant) up
- Does not behave rudely
- Does not seek its own
- Is not provoked
- Thinks no evil
- Does not rejoice in iniquity
- Rejoices in the truth
- Bears all things
- Believes all things
- Hopes all things
- Endures all things
- Never fails
Tips For Receiving God’s Love
- First things first, in order to receive God’s love, you must accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior (See Romans 10:9). Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). You must be born of God in order to receive love and give love (See 1 John 4:7).
- You must be in relationship with Jesus. Just like you cultivate your relationships with your loved ones, you must develop your relationship with Jesus. You must spend time with Him—spend time sitting in His presence, reading your Bible, worshipping Him, and praying to Him. The aforementioned grows and strengthens your relationship with Him. Being in relationship with God enables you to know Him. There is a correlation between knowing God and receiving and knowing love (See 1 John 4:7-9).
- Ask the Lord if there are any past wounds and brokenness in your life that hinders your ability to receive His love.
- Ask the Lord if there are any lies and deceptions you are believing from Satan that hinders you from receiving His love.
- If the Lord reveals any past wounds or brokenness, it is time for you to forgive the person(s) who inflicted the harm and yourself. Ask the Lord to enable and empower you to forgive and He will.
- If the Lord reveals any lies and deception you believed from the enemy, renounce them and replace them with the truth of God’s word. Ask the Lord to give you the truth to replace the lie and deception given to you by the enemy.
- When God delivers you from what is preventing you from receiving His love (i.e. fear, rejection, pride, lack of trust, disbelief etc.) take hold of your freedom and walk in it. The enemy will return trying to use the same old deception and lies. When he comes, you must fight back with the truth!
- When you miss the mark and sin against God, don’t receive the condemnation the enemy is so eager to give you. Repent (turn away from the sin) and ask God for forgiveness. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). His compassion and tender mercies are new every morning, receive it!
What Impact Does Receiving God’s Love Have On Your Life?
- Saves you
- Redeems you
- Reconciles you to Him
- Empowers you
- Heals you
- Restores you
- Makes you feel safe
- Makes you feel worthy
- Makes you feel accepted
- Makes you feel beloved, cherished, and adored
- Comforts you
- Chastens you
- Delivers you
- Strengthens you
- Encourages you
- Gives you peace
- Gives you rest
- Sets you free
How different would all of us show up in the world if we not only knew we were loved by God, but we believed it and received it? How many of us would love God better, love ourselves better, and love those around us better? How many of us would receive love better? The answer: ALL OF US! Therefore, I encourage you, for the betterment of your life and the lives of those around you, to receive God’s love today!