“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.”
(1 John 4:16)
We know of the statements that God loves us, e.g.:
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
- “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
That does not mean, however, that we have known that love even if our minds have accepted the news. Many people still feel insecure and as if they are looking at it through a shop window but are unable to get to it.
In the passage above John says of God’s children that “we know.. the love God has for us.” This means that it has become more than just news. It is now real and personal. The fact that it is God’s intention that we know it for ourselves is beautifully underlined in Paul’s great prayer:
“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 saints, 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” (Ephesians 3:16-19)
This passage alone needs constant prayer and reflection!
John goes on from saying that God’s children should know His love to stressing that we now “rely on the love God has for us.” In the world in which we live it often seems that love is something that can be switched on and off, even by those close to us, depending on whether or not they are pleased with us. It can be very manipulative and many children, and adults, live extremely insecure lives as a result. God’s love is not like this, because He is not like that. As John says, “God is love.” It is vital that, as the children of God, we know that we can always rely on God’s love for us.
How do we get to know and rely upon this love? We cannot manufacture it, for it comes only through God.
- “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5)
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love…(Galatians 5:22)
We will only know the love of God if the presence of God is within us. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come and be in us. Paul prays that “Christ may dwell in your hearts” They are both referring to the most intimate of relationships with God – not one in which we remain in control of our lives and treat God as a consultant or a ‘medic on call’. The less of our lives we give to God the less of His life and love we will enjoy. The more that God is allowed full rights within us, and to our lives, the more He will be allowed and enabled to pour His love into us, in all its fullness.
At this very moment Jesus will be knocking (Rev 3:20) on the rooms in your life into which He has not had access before. Kneel before Him, invite Him into every single part and aspect of your life, ask Him to be your Saviour and Lord in the fullest sense, and to lead you in His Way, His Truth and His Life. Then personalise Paul’s prayer above to yourself and pray it regularly. God bless you.
Do it now!
Father help me always to remember that You are love and that You love me totally and unconditionally. Please come into every part of my life, pouring Your love into my heart, and helping me to believe, receive and live in it. Amen.