Truth #7: God loves you more than you can fathom.
It has taken me a long time to believe that God really loves me. When you don’t grow up with a father in your life, you don’t understand what a father’s love looks like. You ask questions like; “Does God really care about the intricate details of our life?” “Does He really want to be involved in my decision making?” “Why would He love me? I’ve made so many mistakes.”
But when we don’t believe that God loves and care for us as a good father cares for his children, it’s a lie. Your adversary wants you to feel unloved, unworthy, and undesirable. Don’t buy into the lie.
It is difficult to paint a picture of our heavenly Father’s love in this short blog, so today we will take one aspect of the type of love God has for us.
There are actual four different kinds of love mentioned in the Bible. There is “Phileo” Love, which is brotherly or sisterly love, “Eros,” or romantic love, and “Storge” love, which is family loyalty.
But the Greek word for the type of love that God has for us is “Agape” love. It is not of human origin and our heavenly Father has given us the capability, through Jesus, to return this type of love to Him and to others.
There’s a famous conversation in the Bible between Jesus and his disciple, Peter, about the difference between God’s “Agape” love and “Phileo” love. You can find it in John 21:15–21. It says:
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you truly love (agapao) me more than these?’ Peter replied, ‘Yes, Lord,’ you know that I love (phileo) you.’” Translation: “Yes, Lord, you know you’re my pal!”
“Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’”
“Again Jesus said, ‘Simon, son of John, do you truly ‘agapao’ me?” He answered and I translate again, “Yes, Lord, you know that I am your buddy.”
“Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’”
Jesus obviously wasn’t getting the right answer from Peter so he asked him one more time.
“Simon, son of John, do you ‘agapeo’ me?” He is asking Peter, Do you love me with a sacrificial love, an unconditional love, the highest form of love that there is, just like I love you?”
Peter replied again, “Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you.” “Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.’”
And I believe Jesus is asking that question of us as well. Do we “Agapeo” Him? Do we have a sacrificial love for God, one that is unconditional regardless of some of the trials we go through? Do we love God the way He loves us, with the highest form of love that there is? Because if we don’t love Him that way, and don’t believe we receive this type of love from Him, we can’t be used to feed God’s sheep, or to be God’s representatives of His love on this earth.
Romans 5:5 says, “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love (agape) has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” When we receive God’s agape love, it’s supposed to overflow to others, even when we don’t feel like loving someone. 1 John 4:8 says, “Anyone who does not love (agape) does not know God, because God is love (agape).“
So why do we have so much trouble believing in, and receiving God’s love?
In Ephesians 3:17–19, the Apostle Paul says God’s love is beyond our comprehension. It takes faith to believe that God loves us so much that He truly wants the best for our lives and that he desires for us to have an intimate relationship with Him.
Isaiah 40:11 says, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Who are the lambs? We are. Our loving Father carries us close to His heart. This is a beautiful image of the way our Abba Daddy cherishes us.
So today, will you choose to believe in God’s “Agape” love for you? It is a higher love than you can fathom. It is sacrificial and unconditional, and available to all who believe in Him.
Categories: Devotion of the Week