"In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:9-10
What could true love possibly look like if not the willing sacrifice of King Jesus for us, his unworthy and helpless disciples? What greater love could we possibly know than the love of a Father who would send his own spotless, blameless Son to die for the sins of a rebellious and prideful people? 1 John 4:9-10 says,
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
You and I are fully, overwhelmingly, and passionately loved by our God. We have been granted access by the blood of Jesus into an eternal relationship with our Creator who considers restored relationship with us worth the death of his blameless Son. As children of God, we never again have to wonder if we are loved. God proved through the death of his Son once and for all that he will never stop pursuing us, never stop loving us, and that he will do whatever it takes to gain back what our sin took from him: a face-to-face, tangible relationship with him.
Too often we go through life wandering from person to person, possession to possession, and success to success trying to find the love we long to experience. We wake up every morning striving to be fully loved by a world that has brokenness at the core of all it does. We search high and low for that which is already ours in Christ Jesus.
God longs to overwhelm you with his love today. He paid the highest price for you to simply experience and know the depth of his love. Isaiah 49:15-16 says, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” You are God’s child today and forever. You are fully loved by the Creator and Lord of all. God’s love is vast, limitless, and real. His affections for you know no bounds. And he is patiently waiting for you to cast aside all other pursuits of love and simply let him satisfy your need to be loved in ways far greater than you could ever imagine.
Take time in guided prayer to let God love you. Confess any ways in which you have pursued love that weren’t rooted in him. Allow him to heal any wounds that have kept you from experiencing his love. And receive the incredible, vast affections your heavenly Father has for you as his beloved child.
1. Meditate on the limitless and unconditional love your heavenly Father has for you. Allow Scripture to fill you with a desire to pursue being loved by God and to cease pursuing love from the world.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10
2. In what ways have you pursued being loved by the world instead of God? What person have you been working to please so that they would love you? What success have you been trying to achieve to feel loved? What possession have you been trying to buy in order to feel fulfilled?
“Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.” Jonah 2:8
3. Confess any sin of idolatry and take time to receive the conditionless affections of your Father. Ask him to show you how much he loves you. Ask him to help you receive his love in the untouched places of your heart. Rest in his presence, and allow him to lay a new foundation of grace-filled love in your life.
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
Often when we hear the word idolatry our minds immediately think of golden statues and other Old Testament images of false gods. The sin of idolatry is just as real and rampant today as it ever was in the days of the Old Testament. We’ve replaced golden statues with other possessions. We worship and place our hope in that which is fleeting and vain. Any time we value something above our God and his will we are engaging in idolatry. May we as God’s children have the perspective and humility to cast down anything we’ve valued above him. May we repent and receive forgiveness and healing that we might serve him alone. And may we experience his love offered to us without measure and without condition.
Extended Reading: 1 John 4