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Believe God Loves You

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. —1 John 4:16

Are you ready for God to love you? It's easy to say, "I certainly am," but are you really ready to accept and affirm His love?

You cannot rely very long on your love for God, but you can rely on His love for you. He wants you to. Just think how much it would thrill Him if you really believed He loves you. If you could only grasp this life-changing truth—that God really does love you—what a wonderful feeling it would be.

Why are you so reluctant to believe that God loves you? Here are five possibilities:

1. You may have an overly scrupulous conscience, to use the Puritan phrase, and worry about every little thing that may be wrong in your life.

2. You may still be living under the Old Covenant, under the Law.

3. You may have a faulty theology.

4. There could be a psychological problem. I know people who can't call God "Father" because of the relationship they had with their own fathers.

5. When you are aware of how much you have failed God (and we have all sinned and let Him down), you can't believe that He still loves you. He wants to love you as you are, and you should not respond to His love by "performing" for Him. (See Isaiah 29:13.)

If you can identify with one or all of these criteria, at the end of the day you can still claim the promise that God loves you. But I sympathize. I find it difficult to believe God loves me. Yet I have come to see that it really is true: God loves me. God loves you. God really does love us.

Excerpted from When God Shows Up (Renew Books, 1998).

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