The words, “I don’t love you,” have to be the most hurtful words ever spoken. As human beings, we are born with the desire to be loved. Whether it’s romantic love, family love, brotherly love or even self love, God gave us the desire to be loved and to love God, others, and ourselves.
Love comes from God. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” (1 John 4:7).
Because human love is so flawed by sin, none of us can ever love ourselves or another human being perfectly. In the same way, until we receive our glorified, perfected bodies, we can’t love God perfectly.
God has no such hindrances. He loves perfectly. On three different occasions, the prophet Daniel was told by the angel Gabriel that he was greatly loved by God. “I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved.” (Daniel 9:23). The same thought is expressed in Daniel 10: 11 and Daniel 10:19.
How sweet those words must have sounded to Daniel! How would you like to hear those words for yourself? Well, you can.
Paul says in Ephesians 2:4-5: “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses,made us alive together with Christ.”
God’s love is on display for us in Romans 5:8.“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Like Daniel, God sent word to us that we are greatly love. He sent His Word in the form of His Son who demonstrated how much he really loved us by paying the penalty for our sins by His death on the cross
Accept His love. Bask in His Love. Know His love for all eternity.
Credibility. Politicians fake it. Pundits announce it. Actors crave it. Businesses sell it. However, when it comes right down to it, no one does credibility like God does credibility.
I was just about to finish up an interview with a book website about my Titus Ray Thriller series, when I was asked, “What are your credentials to write this series?” The question stumped me for a minute. Were they asking about my experience as a writer? Were they questioning my knowledge of the subject? Were they just wondering if I had enough creativity to write a series of books?
In the end, I answered the question by referring to the premise of the series and how my main character was growing in his faith while working as a covert operative. I decided not to make the case for my own credentials because, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure I could do that.
God, on the other hand, can always do that. He has the credibility. When God comes to the prophet Jeremiah to give him His message to the people of Israel in Jeremiah 33:2, He says, “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name.” On what basis does God come to the prophet? He comes as THE ONE who made the earth.
Those are pretty good credentials. In fact, they’re GLORIOUS. The God who created the world around us, the universe and all that’s in it, from the smallest particle to the biggest galaxy, is someone who has credentials. And this is what our God tells Jeremiah to do in Jeremiah 33:4: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
With credentials like that, why wouldn’t we?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on our failures or weaknesses, especially when it comes to our relationship with God. If you read the Bible on a regular basis, hear sermons, or sing Christian songs, you’ll constantly be confronted with your inability to live up to the person God created you to be. We all “fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.
While it’s true every individual born since Adam (except for the God-man, Jesus) comes into the world filled to the brim and running over with a sin nature, it’s also true God has provided a way for a new filling. He’s promised to infuse us with His nature, His Holy nature. This is what the Bible calls our new nature.
This new nature is promised to everyone who believes. “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 1:13.
As a follower of Christ, filled with His Holy Spirit, you are a repository of God’s grace and mercy. He’s filled you with His attributes. You’ve become a “vessel of mercy.” Romans 9:23.
Being filled with God’s grace and mercy, enables us to be merciful. John Piper of Desiring God Ministries writes in his sermon on Romans 9:
Mercy produces mercy and receives mercy again. We become merciful by being shown mercy. And we show mercy to obtain more mercy again. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7). Freely you received mercy, freely give – and you will receive more and more, “pressed down, shaken together, running over” (Luke 6:38). Mercy upon mercy.
While it’s important to continually examine ourselves for sin in our lives and confess that sin to God (1 John 1:9), it’s also important to realize we are full of God’s mercy and His mercy is an overflowing mercy.