3 Ways God Expresses His Love
Do you want to experience God’s love and grace everyday? Once you’ve tasted that love, you become thirsty for more. That love fills your heart, covers your sin and shame, and empowers you to love others.
Who could push that love away? Who would turn away from Abba Father’s love?
I did. Many times. Still do sometimes.
In my “Prodigal Daughter” years
When overwhelmed by the pain in my heart
When circumstances seemed to deny God’s love
While enjoying the temporary pleasures of sin
When looking at the Word through the eyes of law
When discouraged or depressed
When I didn’t understand Christ’s finished work on the Cross
Recently I saw Meagan White’s cartoon on Facebook:
My first response was “Yeah, be nice to hug my dad and stepdad again.” I’d like to hug my mom again, too. Even one more time. I miss them. All three of them.
However, I began to think and feel more deeply about the picture. Sadly, I did not have affectionate, loving relationships with any of my parents. I didn’t receive the nurture, protection and loving discipline of a father or the emotional nurture and loving counsel of a mother. I miss more what I didn’t receive.
I am grateful for what they did give me—an introduction to my Savior, to church and moral living, food, clothing, shelter, birthday and Christmas celebrations.
I still love them. I expressed my love to them while they were still living. I forgave them. I believe my mom and stepdad forgave me for my anger and unkind words. I know I’ll see all three of them again in heaven.
The heart-brokenness from the neglect and abuse from my early years causes me to hunger more for the love of my Abba Father. The pain dug out a hole in my heart that only He can heal and fill with His love.
So how does God reveal His love to us? This expression must touch our hearts in life-giving and life-changing ways. This love must penetrate our numbed emotions. This love just might open up a flood of deeply buried pain and memories. Oh, but this love of Abba Father will be healing and empowering. The love of God is not mere words.
Here are 3 ways God expresses His love:
1. The Word – devotional times with the Lord, personal Bible study, sermon messages from pastors and missionaries
Some years ago I did a personal Bible study on the heart of God in the Old and New Testaments. I was especially captivated by God’s Heart revealed in the Book of Hosea.
God told the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute and then to buy her back from that slavery.
God used this parable to show me how broken-hearted He is over the waywardness and spiritual adultery of His people. The Blessed God and Creator of the universe opens up His heart to feel the pain of our disobedience. He cries out through the prophets, “Return to Me.” He longs for loving, heart-to-heart relationship with us.
Hang out in the Word. Dig deeply into the Word to know His love for you.
2. The Cross – Jesus died for you on the Cross. Words. We mentally agree with them. We believe them. Has the Cross touched you deeply? This is the greatest expression of the love of God.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9, ESV)
We know life came to us through His death.
I was applying for a teaching position at a Christian school. The interviewer wanted to make sure that I was a Christian. He asked the standard question:
“ If you died tonight, and stood before Jesus at the door to heaven, how would you answer His question, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’” (Honestly, I can’t imagine Jesus asking this question. When we see each other, we are going to have the biggest bear hug ever! Or I’ll just fall at His feet. No tears in heaven or I’d be doing that, too. Anyway back to the question…)
Right now I’m sitting in Starbucks and my eyes are getting watery as I think of my answer.
At the interview I got emotionally choked up as I answered, “I would point to the wounds in His hands, feet and side.” The only time I cried at an interview! The Cross and what Jesus had done for me had penetrated my heart. (Yes, I did get the job!)
Study the Cross. Ask the Lord to deeply, deeply teach you the meaning of the Cross. You will be humbled and forever grateful. You may already know how much you are loved as shown by the cross. Let’s worship Him together!
3. Circumstances – Allow your daily circumstances to reveal His love to you.
Looking back after long years of dealing with painful circumstances from childhood and facing the pain that is inevitable in daily living in this world, I see that my loving Abba Father has worked everything together for good—my good, others’ good and the good of the kingdom of God.
God does not have to prove His love to me. I know and believe His love. The Word and Cross have revealed that love to me in a deeply heart-capturing way.
Driving to work one day, I asked my Father to reveal His love to me. Though I know by experience that God loves me, I want His “heart hugs” that are daily expressions of His affection for me.
Not long after that, I parked my car, paid for parking, and unknowingly dropped my wallet. I had just parked my car in Richmond, infamous for its high crime rate.
About 5 minutes later I realized my wallet was gone. I hurriedly walked back to my car. I hoped I had just dropped my wallet in my car.
But no wallet in my car! I walked over to where I paid for the parking. No wallet!
Just then I saw a woman walking across the parking lot towards me. “Did you lose your wallet?” she asked. She had found my wallet and had turned it in to security at her company. Just at the moment when I started to get desperate, she came looking for me!
Wow! I considered that a heart hug from my Father.
Yes! I’d love to be able to give my dad, my stepdad and mom another hug, an expression of my love for them. One more hug!
Now more than anything I want those heart hugs from my Abba Father. And I want to give heart hugs to Him by how I live and love the people in my life.
Abba Father, reveal Your love to this dear brother or sister through your Word, the Cross and daily circumstances. We praise and worship You!
How has God revealed His love to you?