How to Discover and Experience God's Love
God So Loves You ...
God's heart of love for you is new every morning, it never ceases, and is always available. He does not accept you based on your performance, and every good gift that you receive comes from him.
In your life, you are likely to experience conditional love and acceptance. You are used to perform to get desired results. For example, you needed to study to pass your courses, and receive a degree to get certain jobs.
In contrast, you can do nothing to get God to love you more or less. Anderson, Miller and Travis (2014) in their book, , points out that "a performance-based Christianity opposes the truth that apart from Christ we can do 'nothing' (John 15:5)". Grace That Breaks the Chains: Freedom from Guilt, Shame, and Trying Too Hard
Since life is usually performance based, it is easy to translate the same ideas in our perception of God and how he relates to us. It is difficult to understand God's unconditional love. But this love does not require your performance, that is, you don't have to be "good" to gain God's love and acceptance.
Take time away in a quiet place and listen carefully to the video below, "God's Love Letter To You," and you could experience a deep sense of the heart of God for you:
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.— 1 John 4:9, NIV
Bible Quotes On God's Love for You
The Bible is replete with verses that tell how much God loves mankind unconditionally. You might know all of these verses in your head but this knowledge must be deep in your heart. Take time to meditate on ten such verses below, and receive a deep sense on how much God loves you.
- But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, ESV).
- For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16, NLT).
- This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him (1 John 4:9, NIV).
- This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10, NIV).
- See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know him (1 John 3:1. NLT).
- And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love (Romans 8:38, NLT.
- And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:5, NLT)
- Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isaiah 49:15, NIV).
- O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help (Psalm 86:5, NLT)
Poll: Knowing God's Love
Do you know and experience God's love? I know God loves me ...
The greatest prayer you can pray is not "God use me," it is, "God show me how much you love me, today."— Carrie Pickett
Understanding the Love of God
You cannot earn God's love. But the crux of the matter is that if you really get a revelation of how much God loves you, then you would love him with your whole heart. Make a decision to embrace God's love, and you will find that the following truths about God's love give you a deep sense of his deep care for you.
- God's love is unconditional. His love is not based on your performance. He loves you at your best and at your worst. The heart of the matter is that God demonstrated his love for you, by sending his Son into the world, so that through him, you might live (1 John 4:9).
- God's love endures forever - it has no end. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Romans 8: 35 - 38 explains that nothing in your past, present or future can ever separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. On the contrary, the Apostle Paul triumphantly declares, "No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us" (Romans 8:37, NLT)
- God's love requires relationship. You need to know and experience God's love, and you can only genuinely experience this love when you are in a relationship with him. Jesus Christ came and gave his life sacrificially to make a vibrant Father - child relationship with God possible (I John 4:9 -10; 3:1).
- God's love empowers you to overcome sin. The Apostle Paul explains that "the love of Christ constrains us" (2 Corinthians 5:14, NKJV). God's love gives you the zeal and power to overcome the temptations and challenges you face to live in obedience to him.
- God wants you to remain in his love. Jesus explains that he loves you just as his Father loves you, and he instructs you to remain in that love (John 15: 9-10). You have a choice whether you remain in that vibrant relationship with God or not. Whatever your decision is, will not change God's love for you. But it's up to you to choose to enjoy the fruits of a rich and vibrant relationship with your Father.
Take some time to listen to the hymn "The Love of God," sang in the video below, and mediate again on the Bible verses on the love of God in this devotion.
The Love of God - Bill and Gloria Gaither
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Heavenly Father, I thank you for loving me unconditionally and for giving me eternal life through the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you that I am your child, and I have a sense of acceptance and belonging because I am enfolded by your love. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
References and Helpful Resources
Anderson N, T., Miller, R., & Travis, P. (2014). Grace that breaks the chains: Freedom from guilt, shame, and trying too hard. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers.
Gordon, I. (n.d). Simple thoughts on the love of God. Accessed August 28, 2015.
Pogue, S. L. (n.d.). God's unique love. Accessed August 28,. 2015.
Whit, R. K (n.d.). The unconditional live of God. Accessed August 29, 2015.
Questions & Answers
How do we imitate and experience God's love? How do we love others unconditionally? Do we have to feel loved first?
The greatest gift we can ever receive is a deep knowledge that God loves us unconditionally. It through this love, which we so freely received, that we can love others. Such words of assurance come to us from 1 John 4:19, "We love because he [God] first loved us" (NIV).
The first step is to believe that God loves us. Even if we don't feel it initially, as we stand on God's word that he loves us unconditionally our feelings will change to line up with what God says.
Mediating on Romans 5:5 is very helpful. The Bible tells us that us, "And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us" (NIV). So we are not only assured that God loves us, but we have also been given the capacity to love others because he has poured love in our hearts...
Our only response is to receive God's love by faith, and as we freely receive it, we freely give to others.Helpful 1
© 2015 Yvette Stupart