Sometimes we hear a truth that is mind-boggling, don’t we? For example, according to John 1:12, everyone who has received Christ has been given the right, the privilege, of becoming children of God. Imagine that! We are children of the Almighty God. Children of the One who made heaven and earth and sustains everyone and everything. Children of the One who loves and cares for us far better than even the best of the best earthly fathers ever could love their children.
And…the additional information provided in John 17:23 is also mind-boggling: He loves us as He loves His Beloved Son (Jesus), even though we are “messed up from the floor up.” Even though we break His heart when we ignore Him. Even when we fail to return His love. Even when we sin greatly (and often!) against Him, as well as others.
The Reality of His LoveCan you comprehend such love? I can’t. But it’s a reality for it’s mentioned all throughout the Bible. For example, Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Yes, God loved us before we had even tried to get our lives “together.” As 1 John 4:10 (NLT) says, “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
The Eternality of His LoveGod won’t stop loving us—no matter what. He said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you [to Myself]” (Jeremiah 31:3). Centuries later, the apostle Paul wrote this in a letter to the Christians in ancient Rome: Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. To expound upon that truth, Paul mentioned several strong forces that try to separate us—-but cannot. For example, tribulation, distress, persecution, and other things that involve great suffering and grief. True, such difficult things can cause us to doubt that God loves us. But even if we doubt or distrust God—or become angry with Him—He continues to love us and care for us despite the emotional distance we place between ourselves and our Father.
An earthly picture of our heavenly Father’s love is found in the parable Jesus told about an earthly father and his prodigal son. Despite the son’s rejection and the rebellion and other unwise decisions he made, the father continued to love him and to long for him to return home. And when that son finally came to his senses and headed home, his father welcomed him with open arms. (Read Luke 15:11-32.)
The Joy of His LoveKnowing that we are fully loved—and fully known—brings inexpressible joy to our hearts even though others may not love us—or even like us. When we believe that He loves us, we can endure loneliness, aloneness, mistreatment, misunderstandings, rejection, and much more. We can smile (through our tears) and lift our heads, knowing we are greatly loved children of God.
May you and I rejoice in His abundant, constant, and eternal love every day.