It is not really until we come to understand the meaning of the bible as a grand narrative, a love story of God’s pursuit of mankind -the first love, the evil intruder attempting to destroy love and woo the heart of God’s beloved away from him towards anything else, and the lies that were believed of the goodness of God, the turning away, and His radical love to pursue a wayward wife that we can even begin to understand the love of God.

If we merely see the bible as a religious book of bedtime fairy tales, or the Christian religion as rote rituals and spiritual disciplines than we are likely to miss the point. We are likely to gloss over the whole point to the story:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him, might be saved.” John 3:16

God loved us, and when we wandered off from him questioning his goodness, bandaging our wounds, believing the lie that God had indeed forsaken us and left us to our own devices, oblivious to the true fact of his never ending love for us, he still sought us out to repair the relationship torn apart because true love cannot exist without trust. And we thought God was holding out on us, keeping secrets from us, not to be trusted, when all this time, he has merely been pursuing us with his love to win back our hearts to him, hearts that were broken because his love was called into question.

He had to do something radical to show us his unconditional love, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, taking all of our sin and shame on himself, so we could live free, and that our eyes may be opened to believe that he loves us.

“I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…” Ephesians 3:17-19

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

“God IS love” 1 John 4:8b

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neighbor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God, that is on Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.

These are only a few of the many passages of scripture that present the great unfailing love of God for us… Yet, unless we open our minds to see it, and our ears to hearing the truth of His love for us, we sadly stay locked away in a prison we created for ourselves, and miss the point: God is love. God IS love. Love comes from God, it abides in us, and we are able to love others because he has first loved us! He is the one that imparted within us the ability to love each other, and the insatiable hunger for it. We all need to be loved!

Understanding God’s love is a lifelong pursuit as he corrects our distorted thinking and beliefs about him. When we get those ‘aha’ moments, where we sense his divine presence… And we just ‘know’ God is good, it is in those moments where he is inviting us to know and encounter and experience the great love of God, a love that fills like no other can!

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