God loves you the most, even though He knows you the best!
Have you ever thought about that? God knows all of your faults, sins and failures, and yet He still loves you more than anyone else you know. His love for you is unconditional. You cannot do anything to make Him love you more, and you cannot do anything that would make Him love you less. That is the kind of love God has for you!
It is important to fully understand God’s love for us. We need to believe that God loves us that much. In order to grow in love, we must first learn to accept His love and see ourselves as His beloved. This can be difficult for some people, because they see their own faults and shortcomings. They may also be battling some unresolved sin in their lives. Full of guilt and shame, they find it hard to believe that God really loves them. Yet He does. He loves us with an everlasting love! The Prophet Jeremiah wrote:
“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.’ ” (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV)
As difficult as it is to comprehend, God loved us before we were born. His love for us is everlasting, and He has drawn us to Himself with cords of love. His love for us is amazing!
God also expects us to love others, just as much as He loves us. Jesus said:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39 NKJV)
One reason that some believers have difficulty loving others is because they don’t love themselves. Until we accept the love that God has for us, we will not be able to turn around and love others with that same kind of love. Does that make sense to you?
It is wonderful to see God’s people reaching out in kindness and compassion to those around them. They have learned how to show the love of God to their neighbor. It may be the person next door, a total stranger on the street, or someone in their church. However, God wants us to extend that love even further. He wants us to love all of His saints!
The Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus:
“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.” (Ephesians 1:15-16 NKJV)
It is wonderful if you love your neighbor or the members of your church, but do you love all of God’s saints? Take a moment to picture people in other churches who love the Lord, but they don’t belong to your church group or denomination. Do you love them? What about believers in other countries who look different from you or have different forms of worship; do you love those people? Think about ministers on television, who endure a lot of criticism. Do you join in with those who criticize God’s servants, or are you careful about what you say, and pray for those you don’t agree with?
It is easy to love those we care for. It is also easy to love those that others admire. However, God expects us to love His people and His servants, even if we don’t agree with their form of worship or the way they minister. God loves them, just as much as He loves us. He cares for them, in the same way He cares for us. He wants us to accept others and love them, just as He accepts us. He loves us and accepts us just the way we are!
That same love that God has for all of His people, in every church and country around the world, also dwells in us. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 5:5 NKJV)
The love that God has for all His people around the world has been poured out into our hearts. All we have to do is pour out that same love to every person we see, regardless if it is a person next door or a saint we hear about in another country. That is how big God’s love is inside of us. That is also how much He wants us to love His people. God’s love for all of His people is amazing!
You are holy, dear saint!
This week’s confession of faith: I love every saint I meet!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc.]