We all want to know that we are loved, don’t we?…Whether it’s a spouse who needs to feel your embrace more often, a child who needs to be cheered up, or those people moments from death on 9/11 who picked up their cell phones to exchange the words “I love you” with family members.
It’s a terrible thing not to be loved. Ask anyone who grew up abused or abandoned, physically or spiritually neglected, or just plain scared of the parents who were supposed to make him feel safe.
Ask any parent whose pillow is stuffed with thorns each night by a son or daughter who does not love Mom or Dad or God enough to avoid a godless life. Ask any jilted spouse. It’s a terrible thing not to be loved.
But worse still is to deny that you are loved when you are. What’s the worst thing a child can say to the parents who have given him everything? “You don’t really love me!”
People say that to God too. It started in a garden when the world was brand new. It was the tactic of the tempter to mother Eve: “My dear, God claims to love you. But does He really? He’s holding out on you, you know.” The heart of the first sin was this. Adam and Eve doubted that God truly loved them. They became suspicious of His good intentions.
It’s been that way ever since. In a world broken by man’s lovelessness, we prodigal sons and daughters run away from home after shouting at our Father, “You don’t really love me!” And we lay on the divine doorstep our human wreckage with the tired old line: “How could a loving God let this happen?”
The core of unbelief is always to doubt God’s love for us. The heart of faith is to believe that God loves us with an everlasting love.
Do we doubt this? God has stooped to give us the proof of His love – by what He did for us before we believed in Him and by what He promises to do for us after we have come to believe in Him.
Christmas, Good Friday, Easter – these are all proofs of His love for you and me. Christ proved His love not by dying for the good, the strong and the godly. He proved His love by dying for the bad, the weak and the ungodly. That, by the way, includes all of us. The gospel, the Good News of the Bible, is that “God so loved the world that He gave His only- begotten Son.” That’s quite a gift for one’s enemies. That’s some proof of love!