HOW DO I KNOW THAT GOD LOVES ME?

HOW DO I KNOW THAT GOD LOVES ME?

The topic for discussion today has been dealt with in many ways. Figuring out if God loves us has been one of mankind’s most common obsessions; coming in just behind finding out if God exists and distilling the meaning of life.

For this, we could go down the existential path and discuss intangible philosophy; but I’d much rather cut to the chase and set out these concrete caveats before we begin;

So if you do not believe that God exists, or if you believe that all that you are and all that you have are the result of your own hard work and diligence, and there was no greater power looking after you, then today’s message is not for you.

But if you believe that there is a God, and you realize that at some points in your life, this God was indeed looking out for you, carving out the breaks that you got and keeping you from harm, then have a seat, my friend; and let’s have Jesus show us concrete proof that He loves us.

The hallmark of this ministry’s preaching has always been to ground theology in the everyday. It’s fine and well to discuss theological philosophy over a cup of coffee, but theological philosophy alone will not allow you to experience our Father’s love.

You see, our Father is a personal God, and He likes to deal with us on a personal level. In fact, when Christ teaches, He teaches en masse; but when He evangelizes, He does so one-on-one. After all, this is His altar call;

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

He isn’t on a podium shouting, nor is He in a stadium preaching. He stands at the door, the door to your heart and my heart, and He knocks.

And we are not to look out for spectacular fireworks and pyrotechnics, but we are told to listen for His voice, a voice that calls from behind our door.

And when He comes into our lives, He doesn’t transform us like Cinderella’s fairy godmother – He doesn’t turn our rags into riches in an instant, only to have them return to its original state at midnight. What He does is something simpler, something more ‘everyday’; yet it is something which we all need – He feeds us.

Now, when we look at the life of Christ, He really does put His money where His mouth is, doesn’t He?

For the Samaritan woman, He met her, alone by the well, at midday; and Her life was changed. For the woman caught in adultery, He protected her in front of her accusers till they all left, and then told her that He did not condemn her, in private.

When He counselled and taught Nicodemus, it was in the dead of night, in the privacy of His own home, when Nicodemus came to look for Him out of his own will. Jesus didn’t pick Nicodemus out of the crowd and shame Him in front of His peers, He waited till Nicodemus was good and ready, when he would come to Him on his own terms, and that was when Jesus taught Nicodemus the extent of God’s love for us all;

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
Even when faced with a leper, a social outcast that no one would dare touch,

“When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” Matthew 8:1-3

And when Jesus saw Zacchaeus, He didn’t shame Him for being a tax collector and rebuke him for oppressing his fellow countrymen; Jesus didn’t even make fun of his height. Instead, He said,

“Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” Luke 19:5

And look at the result.

“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;” Luke 19:5-9

No need for harsh words, no need for rebuke, no need for fancy miracle shows. Just a gentle voice knocking at the heart of each and every precious child of God; just like He once did for you, and that’s why you believed.

Can you see the love Jesus had for each and every one of these people that we just looked at? I’m sure you can, can’t you? There were many more, but just from these alone, we can see the heart of love the beats in Jesus’ bosom, the same heart of love that our Father has for you and me.

So how do we know that God loves us? Well, the Bible tells us that

“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.” 1 John 4:9

It’s simple really, isn’t it? And we can look at this from many angles.

You can see it as God sending Jesus to die for our sins, so that when He hung on the cross,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

And in His blood, lies “…the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

So that “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

Isn’t this love?

But say that you don’t buy into all this religious stuff. Say that you are a realist, a pragmatist; well then, God sent Jesus to show you just how He wants to love you. By His actions on a daily basis, by His care and concern showered on the people whom He ministered to, Jesus shows us just how our Father wants to love you, if you will let Him.

And, you know what? Because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever;” Hebrews 13:8

If He was walking the earth today, He would have dealt with your problems in the same gentle, but no less miraculous way that He treated all those people He ministered to in the Bible.

Consider this, beloved child of God; if we see someone, a mere mortal, display half the attributes that Jesus did, we would be so moved by his actions that we would canonize him in a heartbeat, wouldn’t we? Of course we would, we have done that so many times already.

So then consider how we would feel if we actually saw Jesus working in our midst today?

You know, the only reason why we are even spending time wondering if God loves us is because Jesus is not a physical person of flesh and blood today. Because if He was, His demeanor and behavior would leave us with no doubt that God loves us.

But you know, that Jesus is not here, we are not worse off, but better off; for

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” John 14:12

When Jesus was walking the earth, He had not yet died, our price for our sin was not yet paid, we were not yet made right with God. But now,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

And that means that we can “…fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].” Hebrews 4:16 [AMP]

But at the end of the day, I know that all this is talk. For really, whether or not you know that God loves you, depends on whether you can see the evidence of His love for you in your life.

So look into the place where Jesus resides. Look into your heart. And ask yourself the honest questions. Did I really make it to where I am right now all on my own? Was it I alone that was solely responsible for all the breaks that I got? Did my smarts really bring me to where I am today and keep me from harm along the way?

For the honest answers to these honest questions will reveal the true extent of Christ’s love for you.

So does God really love you? Look into your heart, for only you can answer that question.

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