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Summary: Many believers struggle with the idea that God loves them. This message could help. It shows form the Bible, the love of God in all its glory, and what that means for each of us.

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ACCEPTED AND LOVED

Pastor Eric J. Hanson

March 18th, 2007

John 3:16

One of the best things about the Bible is the way that it reveals the love of god for us. Listen to what I John 3:1 tells us about this. (Read it now.) Our Heavenly Father’s love for us is so powerful that he has brought us into his family as great cost. Consider this too. The Bible reveals many traits of God, such as His holiness and his power; but there is only one trait of God which the Bible elevates to the point of saying God is _____. The Bible doesn’t say “God is Grace.” It says God extends and offers grace. It doesn’t say “God is Power.” It says that God is almighty, but that is an adjective, not a noun.

The Bible does say “God is Love.” (I John 4:16) This is highly significant. It signifies that all the good that flows from God comes from His love. Back when the 3 elders did the series of ten messages on Grace in 1991, one of mine was entitled “God’s Love: The Source of Grace”. I did that message because many people who believe in God, who believe the Gospel story, who have prayed for salvation, still doubt God’s love! Many still doubt that God loves them.

It is sad but true. Many believers in Christ, perhaps millions suffer from an impoverished sense of God’s love for them. Churches are filled with folks who harbor many suspicions toward God, in the area of his acceptance of them.

When a genuine believer in Jesus Christ, a person who has turned from sin, and placed his faith in the Lord, struggles with such doubts and fears, it harms him on many levels. Such thinking produces a backlog of emotional difficulties which can interfere with marriages, with properly raising children, and with personal life callings.

Indeed, many believers who have been called to a powerful life in Christ, and who have been granted great giftings from God, still fall short of experiencing these wonderful things, due to nagging inner concerns about their relationship with the Heavenly Father.

Why is This?

From the beginning of sin, God has revealed his righteousness and His holiness in various ways. When the Law of God was revealed through Moses, it became manifestly clear to anyone who was paying attention that we all fall short of the sinless standard God sets. Then, there is the history of Israel and Judah in

rounds of sin, judgment, and finally restoration. On top of that, Jesus made it clear that just harboring the desire to do wrong, is sin all by itself, and then the book of Romans nailed down the whole deal by coming right out and teaching plainly that all have sinned and have fallen short of the Glory of God.

a. For anyone who has been instructed in the word of God or who has read it through, these things can gang up in your mind and make you feel like running away from God and hiding. That reaction to God’s holiness is just what the Devil hopes will happen to you! In fact, he does all that he can to cause it to happen.

The thought bombs that are directed against your mind in this arena contain explosive thoughts against yourself. These thoughts are typically stuff such as “I’m hopeless! I’ll never succeed at being godly! I may as well give up now. God probably has written me off anyway. I know that I am worse than other people. They surely don’t have the evil thoughts that invade my mind!”

Even if such things are never spoken, if they are received into your soul at all, they will crush you to whatever extent you entertain them. If any thoughts and feeling such as these, are nesting in there at even a low level, they can hinder you in countless ways, from career, to home, to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with other people.

b. Yet another contributor to the stinking thinking that holds down so many is this: Our parents and other important figures in our early years and teen years, often did poorly at nurture. Many people had parents who were all wrapped up in their own hang ups. For them, life was all about them! Children do not thrive emotionally in such situations. Other people had parents who abandoned them, or spoke horrible things into them, verbal curses even. Such as “You’ll never amount to anything! You’re no good!” Still others suffered the pain of physical abuse or the humiliation of sexual abuse.

c. On top of that, there is theology around which teaching believers that they are nothing more than worthless worms, groveling in the dirt. Let me tell you something very straight at this point. God the Word from all eternity, would not have left the splendor of Heaven, become a man, suffered horribly, and died, for the sake of something that had no worth! You have great worth in God’s eyes! If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ, you are not only worth something, but you are a son of God the Father! After all, you were made in God’s image. That image is distorted through the damage of sin, but it is still there, and God desires to set it right! He is the great redeemer and the lover of our souls!

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