Many years ago, a little girl began to attend the Sunday school class I taught in the church my husband, Chip, was pastoring. Her name was Sandra. Her family was very dysfunctional. Sandra didn’t know what it was like to be truly loved and wanted, much less accept God’s great love for her.
God drew my heart to Sandra. I wanted to help her. When I learned that even though she was 12, she didn’t know how to read, I decide to start there.
We began to meet weekly. Slowly she learned the basics. And every week I would give her a hug and tell her how precious she was and that I loved her. For a very long time Sandra didn’t respond to the hugs, but I kept putting my arms around her.
One day, Sandra hugged me back! I almost cried with joy. From that moment, her life began to change. (She learned to read, too.)
Many years later, I saw Sandra at a reunion. I was so happy to learn that she was in a good marriage and a little girl of her own. Sandra gave me a huge hug and we both laughed! She had learned how to receive love, and to express love to others.
Love is a very powerful thing. Every day God puts His arms around us. He wants us to know how great his love is. He has brought us into a loving, intimate relationship with Him.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
Think about that! If we have trusted in Christ as our Savior, we’re God’s children, lavished with God’s divine love. His is a giving kind of love. He gives it sacrificially and unconditionally.
The ultimate example of God’s sacrificial love is Jesus. If we ever doubt that God loves us, all we have to do is remember Jesus’s life, and His death on the cross.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
His unconditional love motivated God to send Jesus even though we didn’t deserve it.
In Romans 5:8, Paul writes, “God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us, while we were still sinners.”
All we had to do was receive His sacrifice and accept His love. That’s all we had to do.
Today, God loves you sacrificially and unconditionally. He doesn’t love you because you read your Bible every morning or attend church every week or live a righteous life or share the gospel with people around you. He loves you when you sin. He loves you when you obey Him. He loves you when you are angry or sad or depressed. He loves you when you’re joyful and praising Him.
He loves you because He loves you. You are His child, and His arms are around you, right now.
Too many times we miss the signs or doubt them. We’re convinced that we’re not loved, or lovable. But today, ask Him for help in reading the signs of His love and receiving His love. Remind yourself what Paul wrote about God’s great love for us:
“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us” (Romans 8:38-39 MSG).
If you’re struggling with accepting God’s great love for yourself, we’ve created a resource to help you renew your mind daily with His truth about you, your relationship with Him and others. Discover how to combat the common lies of the enemy with the truth about your appearance, worthiness, security and competence with Theresa Ingram’s Affirmation Cards for Women.
Theresa Ingram has a passion to see women transformed as they learn to see themselves as Christ sees them. Theresa has taught and mentored women in the local church for over 25 years. She is a graduate of Fairmont State University, the mother of four grown children & 12 grandchildren, and resides in San Jose, California, with her husband Chip.More Articles by Theresa