In a recent Sunday School class an 8-year-old asked: “How can I know that God loves me?” This is neither an uncommon question, nor is it restricted to youngsters. It is a question that plagues many at all ages.
For some, they have never really experienced love, even from their family (unfortunately, including parents.) These are the people who also don’t know how to love.
For others, the feeling is that they are undeserving of love. This feeling of being “unlovable” can come from low self-image, being belittled by others or from having done things that they feel make them unworthy of being loved.
And there are those who, for whatever reason, reject God’s love. Here it is pride and self-centeredness that comes between God and the individual.
So, how can we know?
First, we were created in the Imago Dei, the image of God. God is love. We (humans) are at the very top, the crowning jewel, of all that He has created. When God created mankind, He declared His creation “good.” God’s “good” is so far beyond our concept of good there is no comparison. This is an expression of His love.
Even more directly, we have what is probably the most famous if not best know verse of the New Testament, John 3:16 (KJV):
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
These words never cease to astound me. God loves the world, each of us… one at a time. He loves us whether we love Him back or not. All are worthy of His love, not because of anything other than that He has chosen to love us. And it is not only the righteous that receive His love… even the worst sinner, the most evil, still have God’s love. But no one exercises “tough love” better than God when that tough love is needed.
And He loves us so much that He sacrificed His own son, Christ Jesus, so that we might come to live with Him.
The entire New Testament bears witness to this love. But it is really as simple as truly accepting the two bits of scripture referenced above.
Alive in The Word