The Love of God
How do we know God loves us?
How do we know God loves us? The book of Malachi is full of statements God made to His people which were disregarded by them. Are we doing the same thing today? Let's take a look and find out.
Immediately, we find the first question in Malachi, chapter one, verse two:
"I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet you say, Wherein hast thou loved us?"
Amazing, isn't it? After all God had done for the children of Israel, they still didn't think he loved them. There are numerous examples of how God showed His love to His people including: the crossing of the red sea and protection from the Egyptians (found in Exodus 14:21-31), the manna that was provided for them daily in the desert (found in Exodus 16:4, 14, 15), the bitter water turned sweet (found in Exodus 15:23-26), and many more.
Although the Israelites had good cause to know God loved them, they chose to ignore and disregard all the wonderful things God had done for them. What about us? Would we give the same answer as they did? Let's think about the things in our everyday lives that we just take for granted; food, clothing, shelter, family, friends, a job, and many more. Do we realise that many people don't have all the things and advantages we have, and yet we're still dissatisfied? What will it take for us to realise what we have? Although we have all these things, we don't need them all to know that God loves us. In John, chapter three, verse sixteen the Bible says:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
God loves us so much that He gave His only son to die in our place for our sins that we might be forgiven and live with Him forever in heaven. What a great gift! Just that one gift is enough reason to know God loves us, yet he gives us all these other things as well to continually remind us that he loves us. All we have to do is accept that gift and we can have the reward. So let's accept that gift and not be like the children of Israel who didn't believe that God loved them.
But what does accepting Jesus mean? It means inviting Him to come into our lives so He can change us and make us like Himself, so we can be examples of God's love to the people around us.
So how do I accept God's gift? To accept God's gift, we need to kneel down, close our eyes, bow our heads, and talk to Jesus. This is an example of what you could say:
Dear Lord (or Father),
I am sorry for my sins. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins so that I might live with you forever. Please come into my heart and change me to be like you. Thankyou for loving me.
In Jesus' name I pray.
It's not just a one off thing though. We need to ask Him everyday to come into our hearts and we also need to read His word, the Bible, to know what He wants us to do, and then we need to do it. We do it to show that we love Him back for all He has done for us.
Finally, how will accepting God's gift change our lives? When we pray and invite Jesus to come into our hearts, He does, and He changes us. Then we have the fruit of the Spirit which are found in the Bible in Galations 5:22, 23:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
When we have the fruit of the Spirit, we can know that God is in our lives.