16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.1 John 4:16
One of the most important things I have learned from Joseph Prince over the past 7 years is that Jesus loves me. For God so loved me, not just the world, but ME, that He sent His Beloved son to die on the cross for me. The cross was God’s ultimate demonstration of His love for us, that we might live through Him.
And Pastor always says that you will never know how much God loves you until you understand how much God loves Jesus, His Son. If He gave up the Son that He loves for us, what does that say about how much He loves us? In the story of Abraham, where God asks Him to sacrifice his son, the one whom he loved, God spared Abraham’s son. He provided a ram for the sacrifice, and acknowledged that Abraham loved Him, though Isaac did not die that day, God now knew that Abraham loved Him and trusted him.
The Father could not spare Jesus though, and for us, He had to turn His back on His Son on that cross so that we might be saved. As a demonstration of His love for us, our Father, who we know is the definition of love gave up His only Son for us, the Son whom He loved. And the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to us that the Father loved us as He loved the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.John 17
And as children of the Most-High God, nothing can ever separate us from that love, not sin, not the world, not even ourselves. What we need to do though for that love to manifest in our lives and change our lives is to know it, and believe it. Just knowing is not enough, we need to know and believe the love that He has for us. When we are living the vine life in Christ, right believing leads to right living, and if we believe that He loves us, it changes how we live our life.
The prodigal son went back to the Father because He was hungry, and the other son was angry at his Father because he did not know that all his Father had was His. Which son are you? The son who knows the Father is generous but does not necessarily believe he is loved, or the son who does not even see the Father’s generosity and thinks they have to work for the love already given? Both sons did not believe in the love of the Father, and both sons lived their lives not fully enjoying what their Father had for them.
It is important to believe that He loves us, that is where our blessings are. We are only able to love, as He instructed, because He first loves us. And the only thing that can cast out fear from our lives is His love. And the promise that as He is so are we in this world is given based on His perfect love for us.
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love [c]Him because He first loved us.1 John 4
In Isaiah 54 verse 10, God promises that He would never remove His loving kindness from us, nor shall our His peace be shaken from us. Pastor Prince teaches on how this verse comes after the chapter which talks about the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, the demonstration of God’s love. And Isaiah 54 ends with God promising us even more things when we are established in His righteousness, which is a gift from Him. And this gift was again, given to us through the finished work of the cross.
The world is all about loving ourselves, but sometimes, that is just so hard to do. I can definitely speak for myself and say that is one skill I do not have. I have often found myself wondering what it means to love one’s self and I could never figure it out. Knowing that we love because God loves me gives more hope than anything else. It reminds that if Jesus does not condemn me, I can let go and give myself a break.
And even if you have that part covered and know how to love yourself, knowing and believing God’s love for you is still important. We need to spend more time learning about this love and growing in it, the bible says that knowing the love of God which, which passes knowledge, will lead to you being filled with the fullness of God.
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.Ephesians 3
In John 15, Jesus says that He loves us as the Father loved us, He chose us, that we might bear fruit for Hid glory, and there is no greater love than that of one to lays down His life for His friends. That is what Jesus did, He laid down His life for us.
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.John 15
Instead of living like the two sons in Luke 15, let us live life knowing that we are deeply loved, and He who did not withhold His only Son from us in love, how will He not with Him also freely give us all things? It takes knowing and believing He loves you to acknowledge He freely gave you His Son, then you can believe all other things are yours in Him.
The video below is an animation of what happened at the cross, of Jesus’ love for us demonstrated.
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