The love God cherishes for us

The Verse of the Day for September 15, 2019 comes from 1 John 4:16 in the Amplified Bible:

And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.

In 1 John 4:8 (AMP) we also find an expression of who God is and a portrait of the person who does not respond to God’s love:

He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.

For Christian believers nothing is more satisfying than to know that God is love and that God loves us, and nothing can separate us from that love. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) reiterates this powerful declaration:

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.

This passage from Romans 8 relates the constancy of the love of God which never fails. In a previous blog entry, I commented, “No matter the circumstances of our lives, whether on the pinnacles of success and dreams come true or in the pits of disappointment and failure, we are assured that God loves us. I recall a statement from the late Dr. Adrian Rodgers, “God cannot love us any more than He does, and He will not love us any less.”

God desires that each individual believer might know Him and experience His unconditional love, that is, to have a personal knowledge of who He is, to know Him as a loving father. This kind of knowing is more than “head knowledge” but relates to “heart knowledge.” A person may “know” by name the CEO of the company where that individual works, but the same person also “knows” to a far greater degree a co-worker who happens to be a close friend.

God desires that we know him, as He expresses His deep desire for intimacy on a very personal level. We come to know God through the Word of God which makes known the love of God. As we establish and maintain our relationship with Him, we also experience the love of God, the most powerful force in the universe. Once an individual knows God on such an intimate, experiential level, that person “knows for himself or herself,” and that individual is forever changed.

The closing verses of Ephesians 3 reveal God’s desires that we experience His love, expressed in this prayer:

To Know the Love of Christ

To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:19

Father, expand our minds and widen our comprehension
To know Your love in an even fuller dimension.
As we call upon Your name and bow in humility,
Help us to see to an even greater degree.
Enlighten our eyes with the wisdom that comes from above.
You call us beloved, worthy of endless love.
When tempted, knowing You love us dispels all fear.
As we seek to please You, open our ears that we might hear
Your word and endeavor to hide it deep within our heart.
Despite past failures, misdeeds, and shortcomings on our part,
Your love is constant and never changes but ever grows
And unfolds in matchless beauty a dew-kissed rose.
No force on Earth, no power in heaven above,
Not death nor life can separate us from your love.

We conclude with a Truth Song “The Love of Christ” based on Ephesians 3:17b-19

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