The love of God is something many Christians talk about, but few of us understand. I mean, how do you understand a love that pursues people who want nothing to do with you? How do you explain the kind of love that loves people many would consider unlovable simply because they are yours?
This love of God is something everyone on earth needs to internalize because it neutralizes the lies of the devil. God’s love has the power to teach us, once and for all, who we really are.
How Great is the Love of God?
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Trying to express the wonder of God’s love for us is like trying to count all the stars in the sky or every grain of sand in the world. It is like trying to measure the amount of water that’s in the ocean. I lack the words to fully express it and so I will lean on the words of those greater than myself. I love how the apostle Paul expresses it:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us… while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son(Romans 5:8, 10 NIV)
I encourage you to read all of Romans 5, but I believe these two lines do a good job of summing up how much God loves us. When He sent His only Son to die for us, we were His enemies…and some people still are, and will always be, but the sacrifice was made anyway.
Christ didn’t wait until we tried to pursue a relationship with Him before He died for our sins. He didn’t wait for us to acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior. He didn’t die for those who were obedient to him and always did His will.
No, He died for those who don’t know Him. He died for the disobedient—the ones who occasionally stumble and the ones who blatantly fling His love back into His face. He died for those who curse Him. He died for those who crucified Him and for those who will never acknowledge Him as God. He died for you and me who are sometimes so busy we don’t spend even a few minutes in His presence or reading His Word.
How great is the love of God? Greater than we have words to express. Since we lack the words, let’s see what the Bible has to say about God’s love.
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Bible Verses About God’s Love
We know God loves us…intellectually. But sometimes it takes a while for that truth to get soul-deep. The next time you wonder how Jesus defines love, or if God truly loves everyone, or even why God loves us when we sin, spend some time meditating on His Word.
What does Bible say about God’s love?
God’s love is personal. It makes you a part of His family and He makes His home with you.
- See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him (1 John 3:1 ESV).
- The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV).
- 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 (1 John 4:16 ESV).
God’s love is corrective. He will not allow us to be separated from Him because of sin and so He disciplines us as a loving father would discipline the child of his heart.
- For the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights (Proverbs 3:12 ESV).
- For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Hebrews 12:6 ESV).
God loves us so much He won’t allow anything to separate us from Him.
- No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39 ESV).
- And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:5 ESV).
The love of God lasts forever. God’s love for you existed years before you were ever born and will remain long after you die.
- Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136:26 ESV).
- The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you (Jeremiah 31:3 ESV).
- For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you (Isaiah 54:10 ESV).
- The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV).
God’s love for us encourages us to love each other.
- Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:7-8 ESV).
- “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 ESV).
- Let all that you do be done in love (1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV).
God’s love for you and me is the saving kind. He knows we need help and He offers it freely.
- Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to your steadfast love! (Psalm 109:26 ESV)
- For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you” (Isaiah 41:13 ESV).
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17).
If you’ve spent even a second on this blog, you know how much I love the find parallels in books. I recently read Cold Case Pursuit by Dana Mentink and the idea that we need to internalize the truth God says about us is all over that story.
My Review of Cold Case Pursuit
When Penny is orphaned at age four, her life changed forever. For twenty years the killer remained unknown and when he was finally identified, he comes after her, determined to finish the destruction of the family which he had begun decades before.
The Characters in Cold Case Pursuit
I admired Penny. The murder of her parents could have made her bitter and angry but it didn’t. She could have developed a victim’s mentality but she did everything in her power not to. She was strong and nurturing…a woman willing to do what needed to be done to bring happiness to those around her.
Tyler was one of the officers on her protection detail and in the beginning, he had her in a box. He looked at her and saw only her youth. He didn’t appreciate her strength but that eventually changed.
The more time Tyler spent with Penny, the more he realized that she was exactly what he needed. But Tyler had his own past to do battle with and it was some time before he admitted what was glaringly obvious to the reader.
Tyler was an admirable character. He was a single father who was trying to do the best he could to raise his daughter while working as a detective in the canine unit. His integrity and determination to find the killer were evident on every page.
The romantic relationship between Penny and Tyler developed as a friendship in the midst of a stressful situation. In a lot of ways, the romantic element wasn’t very prevalent since none of the two characters we willing to be bold about what they were feeling but as a reader, it was obvious that they cared about each other.
A lot of the secondary characters were entertaining, especially the dogs, and served to create a sense of family. Penny may have lost her parents but she had an extended family who loved her and would go out of their way to protect her.
The Themes in Cold Case Pursuit
There were several themes in Cold Case Pursuit. Penny struggled with the idea that she was lovable and capable of love. She wanted to believe she wasn’t a victim even though the circumstances of her life seemed to say otherwise.
You are lovable and loved because God says so.
Cold Case Pursuit, Dana Mentink
Tyler had an issue with judgment. He struggled to understand that a person’s age tells you nothing about their capabilities.
Know God: because of her traumatic past, Penny struggled to understand her worth. She struggled to believe that she was lovable and worthy of love. But she was reminded that she is loved because God says so. This is a message we all need to internalize: we are loved because God says so.
Know yourself: when someone is actively pursuing you to take your life, it put things into a sharp focus. Penny never stopped fighting to survive. The killer wanted her to be a victim but she refused to accept that label.
Tyler, who spent a lot of time around Penny because he was part of her protection detail, judged her for being too young. He believed that because of her age she was not responsible or mature enough and so he distanced himself from her. There were several times when he allowed his bias to influence the way he treated her.
What label is someone trying to apply to you?
Does it line up with what God says about you? If it doesn’t, do not accept it.
Run your race: Penny was actively being stalked by someone who wanted to kill her yet she realized that she had a choice: she could hide away from her responsibilities and her life, or she could continue what needed to be done despite the circumstances.
You and I may not have a physical enemy who wants to take our lives but we have a spiritual one who wants to steal our very soul. The question we need to answer is: are we going to continue to run the race God has set before us? Or are we going to let the enemy have the victory over us and prevent us from doing the work God has called us to do?
About Cold Case Pursuit
A cold case solved by the K-9 unit…
but the past is not so easily escaped.
Decades after her parents’ murders, Penelope McGregor’s grateful the killer’s finally been identified—until he comes after her. Now Detective Tyler Walker and his K-9 partner, Dusty, must protect Penelope and catch the culprit…while making sure his little girl stays out of the crosshairs. But can the single father outplay a killer whose endgame will leave no one safe?
About Dana Mentink
Dana Mentink is a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Poisoned Pen Press, and Harvest House.
Besides writing, she busies herself puttering around her Northern California backyard. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, on YouTube (Author Dana Mentink), and on Instagram (dana_mentink.)
The Power of Love
Love can be a powerful thing. It gives you the strength and resolve to accomplish things you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to. My prayer for you is that as you realize how much God loves you, it will serve as a catalyst to break the chains which the lies and deceptions of the enemy have on your life.
I pray that you will pay it forward and be the light shining in this dark world so that someone looking on will know what the love of God feels like.
Now I’d like to hear from you: which of the verses listed is your favorite or will become part of your personal mantra? If it’s not listed, what’s your favorite Bible verse about the love of God?
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