Experience The Love of God
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:16-19 NKJV
As believers, our entry point to God’s family is through Jesus Christ. God SO LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten son – Jesus. It is through faith in Him that we are saved (John 3:16, Eph 2:4-6). For a lot of us, our understanding stops just at the point at which the love of God brings us salvation. Yet, we need a deeper revelation of God’s love for us on a personal level, if we are going to be able to stand rooted and grounded in our walk with God and our relationship with others. This understanding changes how we walk through life and how we respond to situations around us.
This was Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church:
“May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God's devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!” Ephesians 3:17-19 AMPC
Remember love is a force that always wins. The force of love can’t be stopped; it touches the meanest of hearts. Bear in mind also that loving others is a command and not a suggestion. (Matt 22:39, Mark 12:31). And we are to grow in this, according to 1 Thessalonians 3:12 and Phil 1:9.
God’s love is best explained by our experience of it. Until you experience how much God loves you, how much He’s sacrificed for you and how precious you are to Him, you cannot be an effective conduit of that love to others.
The love of God for you is given in the person of Jesus. He is the embodiment of God’s love for YOU. Romans 8:32 asks a pertinent question; if God did not withhold His only son from us, how would He not with Him freely give us all things? Why would He withhold the other things we desire - promotion, success, spouse, etc
However, God also has a desire. Yes, He does. The reason He gave us Jesus is so that we may be reconciled back to Him. God’s desire is to have a relationship with you. His desire is for you to first be with Him. Intimacy with God always precedes Him sending us out (Mark 3:14).
If you are a single person, God wants you to be filled to overflowing with His love for you before trying to have a relationship with another person. No relationship can fill the God-void in us. Until you know how much you are loved, you can’t adequately love anyone else no matter how much you try.
This type of love is explained in 1 Corinthians 13. God is the source of it. This love is able to withstand anything, it sees the worst in the other person but chooses to love none the less.
“Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].” - 1 Cor 13:7 AMPC
This type of love makes a decision ahead of time not to be offended and to forgive others as Christ forgave you. This love depends on Christ to see the best in others. For some, it’s easier to forgive those who we know we don’t deal with everyday than it is to forgive those closest to us, especially because their mistakes tend to hurt us more. Make room in your heart to forgive people before they offend you; and this is only possible by allowing Jesus’ love to overflow from you.
No human relationship completes or fulfills us; only in Christ are we made complete (Col 2:9-10). Fulfillment and completeness cannot be found in any human but in Jesus. Human relationships, at best, can only complement or enhance God’s deposits in us. Our satisfaction in life and with life ultimately comes from knowing JESUS and His love.
Attributes of this Love (according to 1 Cor 13:4-7 NIV)
1. Love is patient
2. Love is kind
3. Love does not envy
4. Love does not boast
5. Love is not proud
6. Love does not dishonour others
7. Love is not self-seeking
8. Love is not easily angered
9. Love keeps no record of wrongs
10. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
11. Love always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
All of these attributes describe the life Jesus lived when he walked the face of the earth. This might not be the best description of you right now, but as a child of God, this should be where you are headed on this journey with God. Our goal is to increase in this walk of love. As we obey God by showing genuine love in our relationships, more grace will be made available to us.
So how can we experience this love? The starting point is to be filled and saturated with the Word of God. We find out about God’s love for us through the Word of God. Being filled with God’s Word requires some effort on our part. We create time for what we consider valuable and important. We must plan our lives in a way that enables us to spend more time with God before anything else. You have to be deliberate about getting God’s Word into your spirit. Thank God for the times we live in now, you can have scripture playing from your phone, you can listen to messages that ignite God consciousness in you and also stir up your faith.
Secondly, you must believe and agree with what the Word says. If the Word calls you beloved, then that’s who you are, if it calls you sanctified, that’s who you are. The Word of God is the final authority over our lives, and it is from it we discover our true identity.
Finally, it is not enough to hear the Word, believe and agree with what the Word says, we must also speak the Word. Speaking the word produces power to cause your heart to believe this truth.