‘Knowing’ His Love

by Lester Young

How many of you out there know that God loves you? Are you really convinced of it? If you are, why are you? Of course, the correct answer to a question like that is, as the old children’s song goes, “Because the Bible tells me so!” If you responded, “Well, I just know God loves me; I can feel that He does;” well, that’s okay, too. But, what about if you screw up…do you still feel His presence just the same way, or do you find yourself cringing at the thought of God’s sure disappointment in you because you’ve failed to live up to His standards?

You can probably guess the point I’m driving at. Feeling God’s love is fine; but, unfortunately, ‘feelings’ don’t always work. Or, perhaps I should say, feelings aren’t always reliable. That’s especially the case when we fall into sin. You see, Satan knows this even better than we do. That’s why, when we do slip up (regardless of the degree of the error), he’s right there to whisper into our minds just how ‘guilty’ or ‘unworthy’ we are for God’s love and blessings, trying to fill us with all types of self-condemnation.

But, we don’t have to fall for his schemes or pay attention to any thoughts like that, because we can walk in a sureness of God’s love for us regardless of how we may be ‘feeling’ at the moment. How? 2 Peter 1:19 gives us the insight we need, explaining that even though Peter saw and heard Jesus’ glory with his very own eyes and ears, he didn’t rely on any of those ‘physical’ senses as the ultimate basis for his assessment of our Lord. Peter called the written Scriptures “a more sure Word” of prophecy; in other words, that’s the place where our faith – for anything from God – should be rooted in and built upon.

That’s how we escape the devils ‘condemnation’ trap when we sin. Even though we may ‘feel’ condemned and guilty, we can choose not to be led around by the nose in that state, because we know what Romans 8:1 says: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not [according to] the flesh, but [according to; in obedience to and agreement with] the Spirit.” Now, that’s written down in The Book, so it’s stable and we can stand firmly on it without question, because neither God nor His Word will ever change (Malachi 3:6; Luke 21:33). And let’s just go ahead and lock it in by adding one more ‘establishing witness’ Scripture (Deuteronomy 19:15; 2 Corinthians 13:1): Romans 8:33-34 boldly declares, “Who can [successfully; or would even dare to] bring any charge against God’s chosen [His saints]? It is God [Himself] Who justifies [them]! Who is he that [would dare] to condemn [one of us]? It is Christ [Himself] Who died – and even more so – has risen again and is this very moment at the right hand of God, interceding for us” (paraphrased). Satan has no grounds – legal or otherwise – to condemn you or call you ‘guilty.’ So, don’t let him.

That same “more sure Word” principle can and should be used where the Father’s personal love for you and me is concerned. Again, in the mouth of two [or three] witnesses, every matter is established firmly and settled, and that’s the end of argument! (Deuteronomy 19:15; 2 Corinthians 13:1) We can start off with John 17:23 (and this one alone can cause your brain to palpitate, once you actually sit and ponder it for awhile): “…That the world may know…that You [God the Father] have loved them [just as much as] You have loved [Jesus].” Another ‘witness,’ 1 John 4:9-10 (NIV), puts it this way: “This is how God showed His love [for] us: He sent His One and Only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is [what real, true] love [is]: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as the atoning Sacrifice for our sins.” And, while we’re here, let’s just go ahead and add a third one for good measure, an Oldie but a Goodie: “For God so loved the world (and that means you and me personally) that He gave His One and Only Son, [so] that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

As it turns out, that children’s song was spot-on, absolutely right. We don’t have to wonder whether God loves us or not, even when we sin; and we don’t ever have to play the “I-felt-God’s-presence-last-week-but-now-I-just-don’t-‘feel’-close-to-Him” game. The Bible, the ‘more sure Word,’ tells you He loves you. You’ve got written-down witnesses – three of them – so you never have to rely on fickle ‘feelings.’ End or argument! So stop arguing about it.

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