To be perfectly honest with you, there are times that I have lost the wonder of the Christian life. Through the summer I have been meditating on abiding in Christ’s love. I found myself struggling with connecting with God’s love for me. I have studied God’s love in the past, written about it and even made a bookmark with Scriptures, affirming God’s love. But I was not experiencing God’s love in my heart. You may say, “Well, Clyde, we live by faith and not experience.” I agree, we do live by faith, believing the things we cannot see and I have been doing that. However, when I read the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, I see that Paul prays that they will have power to understand and know by experience God’s love for them. I think the Father and Son want us to experience a love relationship with Them. So I began looking at God’s love anew in the Word. It’s been refreshing and profound.

I discovered that God’s love is expressed in four different points in time:

1. God loved us before the foundation of the world – In His love, God predestined us to the adoption as his children. Eph 1:3-6 Can you imagine that. Before the world was created God loved us and purposed that we would be a part of His family. Amazing!

2. God loved us at the cross – Two thousand years ago, God gave His Son that we might have eternal life, relationship with Him. John 3:16 & 17:3 God took the initiative to love us and through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, God’s wrath towards us was satisfied. 1John 4:9,10 God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Through the death of Jesus, God reconciled us to Himself. By the blood of Jesus, we have been justified and made righteous before Him. Rom 5:8-11

3. God loved us on the day of our salvation – The moment we put our trust in Jesus we were given eternal life and a love relationship with God began. John 3:16 We became recipients of His love as His wrath towards us was satisfied. 1John 4:10,11 He made us righteous and we, who were enemies of God, were reconciled to Him. Rom 5:8-11 We were made alive, raised and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. Finally, God poured out His love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Rom 5:5

4. God loves us today – Today the Father has lavished His love on us in that He calls us His children. 1John 3:1 Today we are seated with Jesus as a members of His body at the right hand of the Father, a place of oneness and intimacy. Eph 2:4-7 & 1:18b-22

So, as I live in the present and seek to apply these truths in my life, I find that I need to, as my friend, Myles Lorenzen, says, “Preach the Gospel to myself today.” I remind myself of the Father’s love for me and Jesus’ demonstration of love for me on the cross and I receive the love of God anew. This is a work of the Spirit. There is nothing I can do to earn God’s love today. His love is motivated by His grace and mercy and not my good works. Eph 2:4-9 There is nothing I can do to separate myself from the love of God today. Rom 8:31-38 The devil and his evil agents cannot disqualify me from the love of God. The evil acts of others cannot disqualify me from the love of God.

So what do I do when my heart is hard and my soul is dry? I need to preach the Gospel to myself and receive anew the love of God by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. There is something wonderful about living in the love of God. Resting in God’s love, experiencing it and moving into a deeper love relationship with the Father and the Son is the very nature of the Christian life.
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