A message from Pastor James Exline of the Road to Freedom program.
“Does God love me?” seems like a simple question; one with the apparently obvious answer, “Yes, of course God loves me. He loves everyone.” While we know God loves us, how often do we feel or believe that God truly does love us?
I heard all my life the truth that God does indeed love me; however, it was several decades later when I truly believed and accepted the fact that God really loves me. Until then, God seemed like a distant, often angry God – the Almighty Smiter, if you will. This led to my vacillating between running from Him and attempting to be good enough for Him; neither of which ended well!
Paul’s prayer for believers in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 is that the Lord would lead their hearts into a full understanding of the love of God. Again in Ephesians 3, his prayer is that they may “know this love that surpasses knowledge.” This, I believe, is at the very heart of our relationship with God. We must come to know him more and more, truly believing in and gaining a better understanding of his love. Not merely intellectually, but also experientially.
Paul, who had a deep understanding of God’s love, describes that love in Romans 8.38-39:
“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. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
One of the terms the Bible uses to describe God’s love is everlasting. A word that studies show us is, “undying, abiding, enduring, continual, persistent, uninterrupted.” This means that it is without beginning or end; that which always has been and always will be. He didn’t wait until you were born, or until He created you to love you. God knew you and loved you before you were born. Did you catch that? God loved you before you could even try to be lovable! In fact, there never was a time when God did not know you and did not love you, and there never will be a time when He does not love you!
My prayer for you is the same as The Apostle Paul’s—may the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”