Believing the Love of God for You
“God loves you” is a statement many of us have heard many times, whether in church or in books. The love of God has at certain times in my life following Christ made a profound impact on me… but at different times it has also meant very little to me. I’m reading a book called Communion with God by a Puritan Pastor named John Owen, who lived in the mid 17th Century. In chapters 3 and 4 of the book, Owen hammers home the importance of the love of God for his children. It dawned on me that I have two things that often cause me not to dwell on and be continually changed by God’s free and eternal love towards me:
I am a guy and like a lot of other guys, I don’t want to “go there” with my emotions.
I react against the fluffy “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” that is so prevalent in many “seeker” churches. If their error is over-emphasizing God’s love to the point of not calling sinners to repentance, my error is under-emphasizing God’s love and acting as if it’s more godly to focus on his glory, holiness, and sovereignty.
The result is that I miss out on a real experience of the phenomenal, eternal, impossible-to-ever-fully-comprehend love of God. Fortunately God’s love toward me does not change based on my feelings of his love for me… otherwise I’d be in serious trouble! But the reality is that this “communion with God” that is possible only for God’s children through faith in Jesus Christ is stunted when I don’t take regular times to celebrate and be changed by God’s love.
The following are some quotes from John Owen out of his book. I encourage you to read them and take some time afterward to slow down, meditate on these truths that come out of God’s Word, and ask that your Heavenly Father get his love through to you in a more profound way.
God’s love for us was before all that he had purchased for us (Ephesians 1:4-6).
Jesus does not pray that the Father would love his children. He says, in effect, “Don’t worry about that. I do not have to pray that he Father may love you, for this is his special attitude towards you. He himself loves you.”
In God there are two sorts of loves. There is his love of good pleasure and his determination to do good, and also a love of friendship and acceptance.
Christ is the well of salvation into which the water of God’s love is poured. We then draw by faith from Christ, the well of salvation, the water of God’s love.
The father loves the child when the child does not know the father, much less love him. It is the same with us (1 John 4:10). We are, by nature ,”haters of God” (Romans 1:30). God in his own nature is a lover of men. So God’s love must precede ours.
The love of the Father is freely given. He loves because he wanted to love us. There was, there is, nothing in us to give God any reason why he should love us.
You will never experience the sweetness of his love until you receive it. You must, then, continually remind yourself that God loves you and embraces you with his free eternal love.
Father, thank you for your deep, abiding and eternal love for us. Thank you that your love never changes, and thank you for loving us long, long before we ever loved you. Help us Father, to embrace this love you have for us and be so struck by it, that we are led to worship, love, and obey you with hearts full of praise to you. We cannot in our own strength comprehend your love; you must reveal it to us. Thank you that you have done so and that you are willing to do it over and over again. May Harvest Bible Chapel be a place where your love becomes palpable. May we collectively sing your praises and extend your love to those around us. Amen.
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