Part 4
John 3:16


We have all heard the words of John 3:16. We have all heard "God loves you", and yet there are few thoughts that people have more trouble believing than this. It would very much surprise me to meet someone who says that they have never wrestled or flat-out rejected this notion. God may love other people, Jesus may even have died for a great many of them - but for me?


In the previous section we discussed how the enemy will try keep you from finding God's Truth. But actually there is a much more dangerous foe working against your salvation. He is the one you wrestle with every time you hear the words "Jesus loves you". He is the same one who opposes God every time He reaches out His hand. He will do everything in his power to make you reject God, to keep you from falling for this  tale of love and salvation and freedom - and he will offer you a thousand reasons why he is right.


He will tell you that God would never love someone like you, God will never forgive what you've done, God knows you and you cannot change. Maybe he will even tell you that you need to clean up your act if you want to get closer to God, knowing full well that you will fail when you try. The irony of it all is that God loves you, even in the mess you are in:


Romans 5:8


John 15:5


God isn't waiting for you to make the first move, He has already made it for you. He knows that you are hopeless without Him, that has never turned Him away! The fact that you are lost in sin, hurting or broken is exactly why He is near! He wants to be the one to pull you out of it all. Isn't that love? "While we were still sinners Christ died for us." There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.


1John 4:10


So who is it that holds you back and makes it so difficult for you to accept His love? Unfortunately you are not doing yourself any favors here. It is your own fears and rationalization, even your intellect and pride that get in the way. Salvation is in simplicity, in trust, in belief, in surrender. The man who will lay down his own wisdom and trust God's - he will find God.


Mat 18:3


This is not foolishness, in fact it is a very sound-minded choice. If God's power and wisdom created the universe, if His unchanging word was faithful and potent enough to bring everything into being... then His word is more sure than anything in existence. You and I cannot even begin to consider our own words in terms like: unchanging, unwavering, infallible, eternal. We are like leaves blown in the wind... but God is ever unmoved. The evidence of His character is splayed over all creation. His word is faithful and it tells us that He loves us. More than that, His love is not only confirmed by His words but by His sacrifice and by His attentions on you to this very day.



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God has beautiful gems of truth that He longs to reveal to you, breathtaking revelations of the depth of His love that will change you forever...  but He must wait until you can receive them. So long as you cling to your belief that God cannot love you, you leave no space for Him to show you otherwise. Your heart is like a glass, you cannot pour anything into a glass that is already full to the brim. If you insist that God cannot or will not love you He will not force His truth on you. Love is gentle and kind, it does not overpower the will of another.


Ask God to show you His love and He will, if you ask in sincerity. (In the next section we will discuss this in more detail).


But first let us give a word of encouragement to those who feel they cannot yet bring themselves to asking God to reveal His love - after all, they are fully convinced that He does not love them. Sadly too many people feel this way. They do wish that God's love was for them, they may even have prayed "the Sinners Prayer" before and still they have no sign that He accepts them. How can they be expected to open their hearts to receiving God's love?


There are two forces fueling this belief (as we have been discussing), both your own beliefs and fears, compounded by those of God's adversary who will do all he can to keep you in this state. God cannot save you while you willfully push Him away, even if a part of you desperately wants Him to, He will not force His love and salvation on you. But that does not mean that there is nothing He can do... in fact there is a way God can still intervene on your behalf.


Without God's hand to cushion you, you will soon discover the value of your own wisdom. The going will be increasingly difficult. Answers will be harder to find and over a long period of time your efforts will come to naught. The more you strain to press forward the less you will achieve. This cycle will continue for as long as it takes for you to discover that your own efforts are hopeless. When you finally reach the end of your wisdom and strength you will begin to loose faith in yourself. In effect the full glass is being slowly poured out until it is empty again.


Do not think that God has done this to you or that He is punishing you. No, He has simply left you to your own devices and allowed you to feel the consequences of your choices. When your glass is empty and you feel like you have reached life's lowest point, God will visit you again. You may still not consciously feel His love or His presence, but now you are deeply aware of your need of them. At last you are ready to hope in His salvation and there is room for Him to pour His love into your glass. If you call out to the Lord Jesus for mercy in that moment - as the only lifeline you have left - He will most certainly save you!





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