Romans 8:38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate US from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“How To Know God Loves You.” There are many who, in the course of life, wonder if God really loves them. They question His love when: A tragic event happens, OR… When they ask God for something they deem important & God doesn’t come thru as they wanted.
Let’s keep in mind a very important point before we go too far. No person who has ever lived deserves God’s love! No person is worthy of God’s love on their own. IF God were fair He’d send us all to hell because it is written in Ro 3:10-18…
None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. 13 Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. 14 Their mouth is full of curses & bitterness. 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin & misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known. 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
So let’s let go of the idea that God owes any of us anything.
It’d be enough to find a verse that states, “God loves you.” But there isn’t one that uses those three words in that order. But there is something we do know, “Actions speak louder than _______.” The difference is that God’s Words ARE His actions. Still, we are going to see what God has done… and does… to SHOW His love for us. (Aside: This is a message of encouragement for Christians)
First: God sent His son to die in your place. The cross! We’re talking about eternal death which is God’s ETERNAL wrath. Salvation is personal. It’s a one to one event with God. THINK!!
Sin is so egregious to God that His eternal wrath does not satisfy His offense over sin. For a person to be saved Jesus had to take on the eternal punishment they deserved. That is what Jesus did for you. And not only you, but every believer in this room. And not just here & now, but all believers who have ever… or ever will live! But that isn’t all…
Consider the eternal wrath of God for all believers who’d ever live were focused into three hours. THIS is what Jesus feared in the Garden when He prayed, “Let this cup pass from me…”
But Jesus paying for sin isn’t enough to gain access to heaven. At that point we’re just forgiven sinners. More is needed… the imputation of Christ’s righteous perfection. THEN and only THEN are we allowed into God’s presence. THESE TWO THINGS are what Jesus’ death accomplished!
Second: Jesus willingly gave His life so that you’d be saved. He was not killed, murdered, or asphyxiated on the cross. When Jesus chose to die… then & only then did He die. Jn 10:17…
For this reason the Father loves me, b/c I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, & authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.
Jn 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.
Third: The ONLY thing(s) God gives, allows, or sends into your life is good for you.
Mt 7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Lk 11:11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Fourth: God sent the Holy Spirit… & by Him he has promised never to leave nor forsake you.
Jn 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Heb 13:5 Be content w/ what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Fifth: The Holy Spirit & Jesus pray for you constantly…
Ro 8:27 He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Ro 8:34 Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Sixth: God holds you in His hand so you cannot lose your salvation…
Jn 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, & I know them, & they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, & they will never perish, & no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, & no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I & the Father are one.
Now, the last one may surprise you. Turn to Heb 12:3…
Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, & chastises every son whom He receives. 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left w/out discipline… then you are illegitimate children & not sons. 9 Besides this, we’ve had earthly fathers who disciplined us & we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits & live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
There are two kinds of discipline, formative & corrective. Formative is “Brush your teeth,” “Clean your room.” “Go to bed.” Kids don’t like formative discipline. It seems disruptive & useless. If they ignore formative discipline, corrective discipline is implemented. RIGHT?
Heb 12:4. If we neglect formative discipline… keeping God’s commands (Forgiving, mercy, grace, kindness, love, holiness, etc.)… God implements His corrective discipline into our life. God loves us too much to let us wander away in sin. God proves His love for us through CORRECTIVE discipline.
And please notice there are two wonderful results! Vs 10, to share in HIS holiness… w/out which no person enters heaven (Heb 12:14!). Then Vs 11, the PEACEFUL FRUIT of righteousness. The peace of mind, heart, soul, & spirit are the blessed results of God’s discipline. And that’s a good thing!
Now I know I’ve thrown a lot at you today. I know it’s a lot to process, especially the last way to know God loves you, so let’s recap quickly. We know God loves us because:
God sent Jesus to die in your place,
Jesus GAVE His life so you’d be saved,
God only allows into your life things that are good for you,
God gave you the Holy Spirit who is always with & strengthens you,
The Holy Spirit & Jesus are always praying for you,
God ordains that once you are saved… you will stay saved,
God disciplines you to conform you to the image of Christ.
The easiest way to condense all these into one visual reminder is to look at the cross. If you ever question or wonder if God loves you… look at the cross! If you’re ever down or depressed… look at the cross! If you’re ever worried or unsure of the future… look at the cross!
Are you a Christian? Have you trusted Jesus for salvation? If not, you can right now… right where you sit! Just cry out to God for Him to save you through His Son…