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1 John 4:16: The Love That God Has For Us


1 John 4:16
[16] So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (ESV)

This is such a beautiful, and yet challenging, verse. We have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. I think that many of us who belong to the Lord have no problem with the part of the verse that says we have come to know the love that God has for us. But it is the next part of the verse that we have a problem with. I am looking at the word believe. Do we truly believe the love that God has for us?

You see, it is one thing to know the truth of something. It is quite another to believe that it is for us. We read all kinds of passages of Scriptures that remind us that God loves us. We have likely heard multiple sermons on the topic of God's amazing love. We can mentally affirm that God is love and we know that he has love for us. But do we believe it for ourselves?

I have no problem believing that God loves the world. I have no problem believing that God loves you. I struggle with believing that God loves me! My problem is that I know me. I know how many thoughts of sinful rebellion I have had. I know how many times I have betrayed my Lord. I know how many times I have fallen into sin and failed the one who loves me. And I question how he could possibly love me.

There is an account in Luke where the disciples had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Jesus comes and tells them to throw down their nets on the other side of the boat. As they did, they pulled up so many fish the boat almost sank. This was a genuine miracle and demonstrated the love of God meeting their very real physical need. Listen to the Apostle Peter's response:

Luke 5:8
[8] But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (ESV)

Do you know and believe the love that God has for you. I pray that you will not only know that his love is available for you, but that you will believe it and abide in him. Yes, your sin is great, but his love is greater. You are loved. And so am I.

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