A long-time church member once said to me something like this: “I wish so much that I could feel some personal sense of God’s love for me.
“I know the Bible’s testimonies of the love God has for us, such as John 3:16, which says, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son …’ and Romans 5:8, which says, ‘God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us,’ and others. I’ve always longed, however, for some personal affirmation of God’s love for me!”
Have you ever had such a longing? Do you have one now? Some believe that we experience God’s love in a personal way through someone who becomes for us an “ambassador for Christ.” (II Corinthians 5:20)
It might be that there is someone who loves you so genuinely and so deeply that you are led to believe that you are worth loving after all and then you can more readily believe God’s love for you.
Sometimes, it is through some tragedy or serious illness that God speaks his words of love to our hearts, using Christian friends and family who take time to come to show their love for us.
The flip side of this is the reality that we can experience God’s love in personal ways also when we show love to others. True, self-giving love brings blessings to the love-giver as well as the loved one.
Ordinary human love, as wonderful as it can be at times, tends to be love for the lovely, desire for the desirable, attraction toward the attractive. It is motivated in large part by the pleasure it brings to the lover.
Christian love, by contrast, as modeled for us by Jesus and by true Christians, focuses upon the needs and best interests of the loved one. Every act of genuine, self-giving love that grows out of faith has the possibility of conveying God’s love in personal ways both to the loved one and to the lover. I pray this blessing for you as for myself!
THE REV. G. DANIEL MCCALL IS THE MINISTER OF PASTORAL CARE AT FAIRVIEW PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN NORTH AUGUSTA.