One of the greatest tragedies experienced by Christians today is that they fail to believe God loves them unconditionally. Most of us know John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” We know 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” But knowing and believing are sometimes disconnected.
One of the greatest prayers ever prayed for the church was written down by Paul in Ephesians 3:14-21.
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Paul prayed that this church would be rooted and grounded in love.
He prayed that we would would know the breadth, length, height and depth of God’s love.
He prayed that we would know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge.
Does your belief in God’s love match Paul’s prayer here? Do you really believe God loves you? Too often we are rooted and grounded in our pursuit of happiness or health or wealth. Too common is it that we believe God loves us based on our obedience or our goodness or our giving or our church attendance. Too many days do we wander through life devoid of peace, strength and calmness because we are not living in the certainty that we are loved by God.
In his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning asked,
Do you really accept the message that God is head over heels in love with you? I believe that this question is at the core of our ability to mature and grow spiritually. If in our hearts we really don’t believe that God loves us as we are, if we are still tainted by the lie that we can do something to make God love us more, we are rejecting the message of the cross.”
Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, 165.
Here are some reminders that I trust will encourage you today:
- God loves you unconditionally.
- God’s love is deep enough to reach you at the deepest point of your sinfulness (and not just you, but those you love and pray for regularly).
- God’s love is long enough to give you eternal life.
- God’s love is high enough to take you to heaven.
- God’s love is long enough to go all the way around the world and save you and many, many others all over the world.
Maybe, you believe that God loves you. Maybe you don’t doubt it. Or maybe you know someone who does. Consider sharing this with someone else? But more than anything, pray for them. Pray that someone else will know the fullness of the love of God.