Everybody is desperately looking for love and wanting to be loved. From the moment we come out of the womb, we are looking for someone to hold us, feed us, protect us, and love us.
When we get older, we search for someone who can look us in the eye and say, “You matter, you’re secure, you’re significant.” Then, when we fail, we want someone to say, “I forgive you. I’m still for you.”
This is why I find it so amazing that there’s such little love in the world.
And what I find even more amazing is that we have a God who longs to meet our longings for love and has the supernatural ability and availability to do so!
God loves all people everywhere and longs to meet the deepest needs of our heart. This love isn’t just for believers. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world…” His love is for everyone.
God’s heart breaks when He sees what happens to people. He wants to heal, He wants to forgive, He wants to encourage, He wants to affirm, He wants to support, He wants to redirect, He wants to guide, and He wants to heal.
So why is there such a huge disconnect? Why aren’t more of us experiencing His love?
Why are so many people in need of love even when we have a God who wants — and can — give us all the love we need?
Some people have no idea that God cares for them and loves them. Others have known about God’s love, but they have not received it. And then there are countless numbers of people who intellectually agree, “God loves me,” but they also believe “I’m not worthy of that love.”
Brennan Manning, in his little book called, Abba’s Child, quotes Henri Nouwen and talks about the root cause behind Christians not experiencing the love of God. Nouwen writes, “Over the years I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection.”
Self-rejection is the greatest enemy because it contradicts the sacred voice that God calls us the ‘Beloved.’ We are Beloved in Christ. Yet so many of us don’t truly believe this.
Over the 30 years I’ve been a Christian, I’ve learned many of the disciplines of the Christian life … like how to read my Bible and study and pray and share my faith.
And all of those things I learned are good. But I’d say that the biggest discovery I’ve had when it comes to having a relationship with Christ is the truth that God really loves me, completely apart from my performance.
All of the things we focus as Christians – caring and serving others, prayer, Bible study and sharing our faith – are all good but they should really start at the very core of our existence, which is to see ourselves as God sees us: precious, valuable, and unconditionally loved by Him.
So, what about you – do you believe God’s love is for you? Have you received His love for yourself?
If there’s one thing you need to know, it’s this: You are the object of His affection – just as you are – not when you get cleaned up or because you do this or that but because of who God is.
You see, God’s love isn’t just this ooey-gooey goodness of well-being, but it’s a holy disposition that compels Him toward unconditional affection and selective correction to those who believe in Him.
And there is nothing that brings greater honor to God than if we could learn to receive this great and perfect love.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1)
To learn more about the love of God and His other attributes, check out Chip’s series and group study, The Real God.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip