- Religion and Philosophy»
- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Does the Bible say God loves Me?
God loves us like a loving father loves his children
Everyone wants to be loved. To be accepted for who we are with no strings attached is one of the deep desires of the human heart. This is the kind of love that God has for us. He knows everything about us, the best of us and the worst of us, and still loves us deeper than we can imagine. His perfect love casts out fear, brings us peace in the worst of circumstances and fills up the emptiness inside.
The apostle John knew a lot about God’s love. He was Jesus’ best friend and saw this love in action. He writes a lot about love in his books. Here is just a sample.
1 John 4:10 –“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 3:16a – “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”
1 John 3:1 – “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 15:9, 13 – “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
John 16:27 –“No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”
In his letter to the church in Rome, the apostle Paul explains just how strong this love is.
Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 8:35 & 38-39 – “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (38) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And in his letter to the Galatians, Paul corrects Peter on his behavior, reminding him that “The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” –Galatians 2:20b
We can see the heart of God as he spoke through the words of Jeremiah the prophet. In a world that had no interest in knowing him, God found one man, Abram who was willing to leave everything he knew and travel to a different land in order to obey God. God promised him he would become a great nation. In reality, he became the father of two great nations. His son Isaac also knew the LORD and after him, Jacob. Through them a great nation grew up who knew the LORD as their God. God blessed them and multiplied them. He rescued them from slavery in Egypt and led them to a land of their own. Even though they frequently disobeyed him, great heroes of their faith rose up and helped draw the people back to God, continuing the relationship. They became a mighty kingdom with two great and mighty kings. But after Solomon passed away, the kingdom split in two. To the north was the kingdom of Israel and to the south was Judah. The kings of Israel were all evil, cruel and unjust to the people. At their guidance, the people turned to worshipping idols. Sacrificing their children to serve them and prostituting themselves in the temples were among their actions that broke Gods heart. He sent prophets to them to warn them to turn from their ways, for the consequences were grave. Judah had a few good kings, but in the end, they went the same way. At the time of Jeremiah, Babylon had become powerful in the world. The king of Babylon had invaded Israel and taken the people captive. As he turns his sights on Judah, God sends Jeremiah to plead with the people to turn back to God so he can protect them. I hear his heart breaking as he says,
“How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation. I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me. But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel,” declares the LORD.” –Jeremiah 3:19 – 20.
Later he reminds them, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.” – Jeremiah 31:3 & 4.
David was a man after God’s own heart. A poet, a warrior, a king, he could express the depths of God’s love for us perhaps better than anyone. He was the least among men, but allowed God to make him the greatest king Israel would ever have. He was not perfect, but experienced the undeserved forgiveness of God. In Psalms 139 he praises God for how near he is to us, how intimately he cares for us, how thoroughly he knows us, how wonderfully he made us, and how much he thinks of us.
Psalm 139: 1 – 4 –“O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
Psalm 139: 13 & 14 –“for you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:17 & 18 – “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.”
We see again how much God cares for us in Psalm 146.
Verses 5, 7&8 – “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the way of the wicked”
Through these verses and others, we can see that the Bible does indeed say that God loves us. But we must be careful not to think that this means that he will turn a blind eye to our disobedience. God is a just God, and just as I will punish my children (who I love dearly) when they disobey me, so God will allow us to suffer the consequences of our disobedience. Also, God will not force us to love or believe in him. If we do not want him to be a part of our lives, he will leave us to our own resources and let us make the best of our lives on our own.