To us, the greatest demonstration of God’s love for us has been his sending his only Son into the world to give us life through him. We see real love, not in that fact that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to make personal atonement for our sins. (PHILLIPS)
I was on a retreat at Jamberoo Abbey. The nun who was my spiritual director on that retreat mentioned that the great majority of people who came to that place for healing and refreshment had one great question in their life: “am I loved?” I had to confess that resonated with me as well.
We can spend a lot of time and energy trying to deepen our love of God. But the Scriptures emphasise that God’s love for us is the primary love. Any love we offer to him is a response to his own love. So if I am to truly love God, I must first realise just how much he loves me. For many of us, our big problem is not our failure to love God, but our failure to recognise just how much he loves me.
This realisation involves embracing the shape of that love. Jesus coming to earth to take on himself the load of our guilt and shame is the clearest expression of God’s love. Way beyond mere sentimentality, way beyond some impersonal principle. When I am tempted to doubt God’s love for me and thus stumble in my love for him, I am to look to Jesus.
The Christian faith has many and varied complexities. But perhaps it can be summed up in one simple sentence: God loves me and Jesus proves it.
Support Your Hope 103.2
There is hope for a better day tomorrow, for a better future for your family, your friends, your neighbourhood. Hope for a world in which love overcomes fear – and people are not divided but instead unite.