When it comes to finding evidence of the extent and extraordinary nature of God's love for us, we're spoilt for choice in the Bible. But even with His word to refer to, some Christians can still become blind-sighted by personality flaws, unfortunate events in our lives and spiritual weaknesses and come to the conclusion that to feel God's love or to receive it they need to effectively earn it.
For most of us, love isn't instantaneous, it takes time and is born out of a response to someone's appearance, achievements, personality compatibility and countless other attributes. In complete contrast, God's love for us is not in response to who we are as individuals or what we have achieved. Remember, He first loved us (1 John 4:19). And that's not just in reference to Him loving us before we loved Him but in reference to Him loving us before we did anything, let alone anything right. The fact that God's love precedes everything we do makes it even more beautiful.
But this doesn't stop some people from forgetting this when they do wrong. When we do things that we shouldn't or don't do the things we should, we can be even more eager to feel God's love for us. In an attempt to regain their connection with it or reassure themselves that God's love for them hasn't diminished, some people can try to do more to acquire it again. While turning away from sin is central to demonstrating that you know God's love, it's not possible to ever do enough to deserve it. Thankfully, He doesn't withdraw it when we stumble.
The Bible is the best place for us to develop a more informed realisation of what God's love is, what it means to be loved by Him and how we should respond to it. Here are 5 Bible verses to help you start to do just that.
If you feel as though you're losing the battle with sin right now, don't think that God has abandoned you. He wants you to be set free from sin but He still loves you when you're making mistakes.
Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 2:4-5 - But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.
Have you messed up more than once in a relationship and worried that the other person's love for you would run out? Maybe this has actually turned into a reality for you. Such experiences can influence the way you think about God's love but He has endless love for His children.
Psalm 136:26 - Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.
Psalm 103:8 - The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
Are you desperately trying to rediscover the love that God has for you? Don't fool yourself into thinking that you can earn His love as this isn't the case and will only deepen your misunderstanding of how and why His love manifests.
Ephesians 2:8-9 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.