A well known theologian was once asked what was the most important truth that he had ever learned during his studies. His answer was as simple as it was profound, "Jesus loves me, this I know."
God's love for you and I is unlimited, unconditional and never changing. He loved you from before you were born. He knows everything about you, about all your ways, about what you have done, not done and even thought about doing.
And in all this, His love has never wavered, not once, not even when you turn your back on Him in sin. His love has always remained perfect towards you.
In Psalm 139 David describes this love as precious thoughts that outnumber the sand. Not just the sand of the seashore, but the sand. That includes the sand of all the beaches, of all the cities, the farms, the mountains, the deserts, and the sea floors. But that is not all. It also includes the sand of the asteroids, the meteors, the moon, the planets in our solar system and all the sand of the rest of creation. If you could add up those grains of sand, it would be smaller than the number of precious, loving, pure thoughts that your God has towards you.
Put simply, God is consumed by the love He has towards you. You are perfectly and completely loved.
I liken God's love to the waves in the ocean. They are not something that you can hold in your hand, they are far too big. Same with the love of God. It is not something to be grasped and understood only. It is something to be personally experienced. For just as there is tremendous power and joy to be found in playing in the ocean, there is tremendous power and joy in experiencing God's love, sometimes it even knocks you off your feet.
But maybe the greatest similarity between the waves of the ocean and God's love, is the unrelenting nature of it. The waves never stop coming. Instead they keep coming in and crashing up against the shore. So too with God's love. It never stops. It never holds back waiting for you to do something to earn it, or the very least not do something to withhold it. The love of God keeps coming, never stopping, always crashing up against us, over us, even under us.
Sadly, too many of us have limited the impact of God's love. Instead of running in and playing in the ocean of His love, we cautiously stand on the shore, barely sticking our toe in for fear that something bad will happen, but are then left wondering if His love really is that powerful.
When this happens, we begin to undervalue the significance of what it means to be loved by Him, this way. For some, they can't believe that they could ever be worthy of such love, saying things such as, "How could God ever love me after _________." As if we could ever do anything to deserve such love. While others, having a slightly different experience say things like, "I know God loves me, but I just wished others did too." As if God's love was only powerful to partly satisfy us.
Both groups struggle with the same problem. They don't fully appreciate and grasp the significance of who loves them and how much. We are loved by the perfect, holy, righteous, creator of the universe, who loves you and everything about you, not because of what you do, but because of who He is and who He has made you.
This truly is the single most important truth we need to know. Because it prevents me from looking to, demanding and manipulating others into loving me. Instead, I am freed to love them unconditionally but also free to enjoy the love I receive from them as icing is to a cake.
But it also gives me hope in times of trouble. The knowledge that God loves me means that even in the trials and tribulations I am not being punished by Him, that He is not angry with me, or turned His back on me. Instead He is using the trials to produce in me something precious, something that it is truly for my good. This was Paul's understanding and why he was able to glory in his trials (see Romans 5:3-8, 8:28-29).
May Father bless you with the knowledge that surpasses understanding of the enormous love He has towards you. And may you have the mindset to look for it today.
You are loved.