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Pointers along the way #681

Experiencing the love of God

- Jacob Ninan

God's love for people is so outstanding compared to His other characteristics that the Bible says He is love (1Jn.4:16). He loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for us so that we can get to have a relationship with Him as His children (Jn.3:16). Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (1Jn.2:2), showing that His love makes no difference among human differences such as race, colour, language, community, intelligence, education, wealth, etc. He loves every one of the people He has created. But the fact is that not everyone experiences His love in the same way.

There is a love of God everybody experiences, irrespective of whether they believe in God or not. This love is what He has for people just because He is the One who created them. It is because of this love that He provides for their general life on earth even if they are atheists (Mt.5:45) and not looking for Him. It is not just Christians who get food to eat, clothes to wear, places to stay, jobs to earn their living, etc. But this is the lowest level of experiencing God's love. People may not even realise they are enjoying the love of God here.

But then there are those who are seeking God for different needs in their earthly life, such as healing, a promotion in their job, a resolution for their problems, money to clear off their debts, etc. Some of these people get to experience miraculous answers to their prayers, and they realise that God is real, He cares for them, He understands their cries, etc. Some of them become 'believers' in God, start going to church, reading the Bible, etc. But this knowledge of God is limited to meeting their earthly needs. Sad to say, many preachers are catering only to these needs of people and portraying God only as the One who provides.

A closer step towards God brings people on their knees in recognition of their sins and coming to God through faith in Jesus. They get born again, and get a relationship with God as His children. They experience His love in the forgiveness of sins and also in having God as their Father, experiencing His love through fellowship with Him.

But there are others who get still closer to God, when they learn to deny themselves and do God's will in their lives (Lk.9:23). When they keep choosing God above themselves, other people and things on earth, they experience a closeness to God beyond what others know. When Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac in order to obey God, God saw clearly how much he valued Him (Ge.22:12). This opened a new level of closeness for Abraham with God.

There are different levels at which we can experience God's love for us. But it is only when we open doors one after another with appropriate keys that such experiences become available to us. And, it is when we keep seeking Him for greater closeness that we find these doors and get a chance to enter through them. God loves us all, but we experience His love for us according to how we respond to Him.


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