Step 2. Experience God’s love

If you are like most followers of Christ, you have heard and believe that God loves you. But somehow that knowledge isn’t permeating your heart and life experience like it should. Why is that? Why are so many believers not consciously aware of God’s overwhelming love that surrounds them every day?

Consider Jesus’ directions to His disciples shortly before His crucifixion:

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love (John 15:9, NKJV). This is love passing from God to Jesus to His disciples. And His directive is to “Live in My Love.”

In order to experience all God has planned for us, we must first understand the incredible love He has for us. So how can God’s magnificent love become more real to you?

Think about God’s sacrificial love for you.

The holy, almighty Creator of the universe was willing to leave the glorious throne room of Heaven, endure humiliating torture at the hands of His creation, and die a horrific death on a cross so our sin would no longer be a barrier to the love relationship He wants with us.

The Bible explains, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV).

Jesus told His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13, NKJV). Jesus wants you to be His friend and was willing to pay the ultimate price to make that possible.

Think about God’s fatherly love for you.

God not only paid the price for your sin, He adopted you into His forever family. He has chosen to be your Heavenly Father and assumes all responsibility and care for you as His beloved child. You now have family privileges.

The apostle John expressed it like this: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1, NKJV).

Think about God’s generous love for you.

Our Heavenly Father is not just committed to your well-being. He lavishes His love upon you in a myriad of different ways.  Not only did He design you, He also has mapped out a perfect course for your life that will result in your utmost joy and fulfillment.

The Bible promises, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17, NKJV).

No person will ever love you more, be as committed to you, or make a greater sacrifice for you than your Heavenly Father. When you understand God’s incredible love for you, it rightly takes your focus off of trying to fill your need for love through human relationships. It helps you to rest in His love regardless of your circumstances. Human love from imperfect beings will often fail you, but God’s love is solid truth that will last forever. And that is the truth!

The Transforming Truth of God’s Love

Jesus told His disciples, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The truth will set you free from a loveless pattern of life. Knowing the truth (and believing it) enables you to enter into a much deeper awareness of the amazing love God has for you.

New Testament Scripture reminds us of this truth. Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you might prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2, NKJV). Transformation happens when our minds are renewed in truth.

Clearly we will come to see God’s love only when our minds are renewed—when we believe the truth of who God is and what He has done for us. Trying (and failing) to obey rules or good laws will not bring us into the promised land of God’s love.

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