Summary: No matter how we may feel at times, God loves us always.
Confessions of a Pastor, Part 3
“Unloved” video opener
The two greatest needs of mankind: to love and be loved.
Personal experience with feeling like God doesn’t love me or can’t love me. (Emily reminding me Jesus loves me.)
“We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. 17 This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. 18 There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. 19 We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.” 1 John 4:16-19 (The Message)
Factors to Cause us to doubt God’s love:
The Old Testament word that is the highest expression of love is hesed. It is translated loving kindness or steadfast love. The base root is an understanding that this type of love is not based on circumstances.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1-3 (NIV)
2) Human Relationships
Many human relationships are performance based.
Because of our view that God loves us the same way humans love us, we wrongly believe that when we let God down, he stops loving us.
God’s love for us is not a matter of obligation, but of generosity. It is not a matter of loyalty, but of mercy.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)
Benefits of Understanding God’s Love:
1) Freedom from fear.
“There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.” 1 John 4:18
2) Freedom to love others.
“We, though, are going to love—love and be loved.” 1 John 4:18
3) Freedom to be God lovers.
“First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.”
“We fail to love God as we should because we do not understand that we are God loved.” Louie Giglio
How do we begin to experience God’s love?
1) Eliminate barriers
“God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.” 1 John 1:9 (God’s Word)
2) Connect with God.
“Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come to worship him. Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor.” 1 Chronicles 16:19 (NLT)
3) Grow in relationships.
“Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24 (NLT)
4) Serve God by serving others.
“For you have been called to live in freedom—not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13 (NLT)