It’s Monday Grace!
Do you feel loved? Without feeling it, how would you know that you are loved? Convincing someone that they are loved is not an easy task. How would you do it?
Well, you could do nice things for them, make sacrifices. Sadly, abusers often manipulate victims by acts of kindness. We are so used to people being nice so they can get something from us that we have learned to distrust kindness.
You could tell them often of your love. But, of course, people lie. Trust me, they say. I love you, they say. But we have learned not to trust words.
That doesn’t leave many options, does it? Even God meets walls in the hearts of those to whom He sends His love. How does God get the message of His love into your heart? How can He convince you that He loves you?
Over the years, I have met many people who have learned such a twisted perspective on the Bible that they simply stop reading it. I understand. There are preachers who can use almost any text to tell us of our inadequacies and sins. Because they are convinced God is angry and vengeful, they see that everywhere in Scripture. So, I have told these folks not to worry about reading the Bible. Just talk with Jesus and open your heart to Him.
Of course, some people think that is a terrible suggestion. We need the Bible, they say. We are supposed to read it and apply it, they say. I know that. I also know that those who have been beaten with the Scriptures will find it hard to believe any message of love they read there. So, they should stop reading—for a while. I believe God has wonderful words of encouragement and love for each of us in the Bible. Eventually, the Spirit will lead God’s people back to His Word.
I am willing to allow the Spirit to do that in His time and way. So, I suggest that they begin again, when the time is right, with the book of John. And I suggest they look for only one thing: look to see how loving Jesus is. Look at His love for the woman at the well, the woman taken in adultery, or his friend Lazarus. See His compassion as He heals and welcomes. In other words, read the stories.
The stories of the Bible are testimonies to the love of God for His people. From Adam to Moses to David to Elijah, the Old Testament is full of stories that shine light on the love of God. And, of course, the New Testament tells about Jesus, the ultimate expression of the love of God for us. “While we were yet sinners,” the verse begins and tells us about how much God loves us.
Does God love you? Oh my yes! When you wandered apart from Him, He loved you and called you to Himself. He loves you enough to let you have your own will and way. Then He walks with you in forgiveness and restoration. Pure and holy love. Love without manipulation.
Are you loved today? Yes, you are! The great God of Heaven, the King of kings and Lord of lords knows you and loves you. He knows the things you have done and the things you would do if you could. He knows the thoughts of your mind and the longings of your heart. He knows your fears, your worries, and your desires. And He never pushes you away.
Learn of Jesus. See the love He showed in the stories you read. See how that same love flowed from the Father’s heart from the beginning. Then know that that same God and Savior loves you. It’s true!