When was the last time you heard your Father say “I love you”? Do you know He loves you? Whenever I ask this question of a Christian, almost always without hesitation they say “yes, I know He does.” But do you know how many of them then go home and watch “culturally acceptable” porn, or watch shows which are “intentionally” hating on God, or listen to music that grieves the Holy Spirit in them by words that are designed to promote “the lust of the flesh” and love for this world? And don’t get me started with what they watch and share on social media! By the way, I’m not here to condemn anyone! But again allow me to ask: “Do you KNOW He loves you”?
Doesn’t scripture teach, along with history, that it is the child who knows they are loved that is the one who loves in return? If a child is truly loved by their parents, will they not respond back to those parents with love? I believe it is the child who feels safe and secure in their parents’ arms that is the one who freely gives big hugs and kisses in return. “True love” has that effect, does it not? So, if I know I am loved by my heavenly Father, then I want to please Him, naturally. Really, I would have no interest in things that sadden Him. If my Father is so good, kind, and gracious to me then why in the world would I want to grieve Him! However, if I don’t genuinely believe He loves me, and that maybe even He has it out for me, just waiting for me to screw up so He can yell at me, THEN I will not feel safe and secure in His arms. Also, this insecurity in me, due to my uncertainty about His love, will cause me to not really be that excited to hang out with him. And I will always be looking over my shoulder to make sure He’s not too close when I’m doing something that might make Him “mad.”
So then, do you know your heavenly Father loves you?
Your answer may be yes, but just as a reminder, let us consider the love of God
“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8)
Before we, as individuals, did anything good or evil God loved us.
“We love because He first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19)
It is because we “are” loved by God that we are capable of loving Him, or anyone else for that matter.
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death (Prov 14:12)
For us to believe the “lie” that we are not loved by God, makes us vulnerable to believing “false love” as “true love.”
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:7-10).
When we come to terms with the love of God, the all-encompassing love of God, then this love is REALIZED, or made real to us, so that we naturally respond in love upward towards God (since we’re born of His bloodline) and outward towards others (because love is specifically designed by nature to move outward towards those God loves).
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things … now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:4-7, 12-13).
From eternity past “God is love.” The Living God who is, was, and is to come, is “love.” Many of us have heard that if you replace the word “love” with the name “Jesus” you will see the nature of Christ in these passages. Not only that, but verse twelve tells us we are “fully known” already. Though we will spend eternity getting to know God, He already knows us fully. There is NOTHING hidden from His sight and yet He still loves us. And since this is a picture of God’s love, we can be certain we are safe and secure in Him whose love does not “give up.”
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:12-14).
He has “set” His love upon us through choosing us, calling us holy, and loving us. Who else was chosen, holy, and beloved? Jesus was. According to scripture, these three things belong to the beloved Son of God! So then, since we are swallowed up inside the love of God “in” Jesus Christ the Son, we are loved as Jesus is loved. And WHEN we come to terms with this reality, it will not be difficult to “put on Christ” like a robe as we demonstrate love to others. And WHEN we ALL do this, we will be united in love.
” … speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Eph 4:15-16).
Not only are we the “Body-of-Christ” but we are also the “Bride-of-Christ.” In other words, we are yoked with Jesus. And just as a head must be connected to a body to be a living being, and just as the groom must be united with the bride in order for them to be one, so too “in Christ” do we live as one in Him. How much love has the Father set on His Son? Here is Jesus’ prayer for us in John chapter 17. Jesus continues His prayer in this way: “… I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (Jn 17:23). In the context of this prayer, Jesus says that the Father glorifies the Son, and then Jesus goes on to say this amazing thing: That the glory He has been given has now been given to us! What is this glory? It is the love of God poured into our hearts straight from heaven with all the glory of the knowledge of God experienced through the Holy Spirit!
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph 5:1-2).
And finally, I will end with this, though there are plenty more I could share! I will end by noting that children who are loved, and know they are loved, love to be around their parents. And these parents love to model their love to their children. Jesus has modeled the Father’s love for Him and for us, being the very same love that the Son carried within Himself, through giving up His own life for us upon that cross at Calvary. And it is this sacrifice that has made us “beloved children of God.” And because this sacrificial love was extremely costly, it ascended up as a sweet aroma to the throne of God. This means that the sacrifice was acceptable to the Father. In fact, it was so acceptable that the heavens were torn in two, and the veil separating sinful Man from a Holy God was split right down the middle as the Holy Son of God absorbed us into Himself. So that we now are “in” Christ, and the glory (remember that word?) that the Father has given the Son, has also been given to us. And ALL of this glory comes to us through the presence of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us every moment of every day. And “this” is the love of God in Jesus Christ for you
Do you know He loves you?