John 3:16 is an great reminder of God’s love for us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.” God sacrificed His only Son so that we, who put our faith in His Son, will not spend eternity separated from Him. This is an amazing love, because we are the ones who choose to reject God, yet it’s God who mends the separation through His intense personal sacrifice. What’s also so great about God’s love is the fact that it’s unconditional. It’s not based on feelings or emotions. He doesn’t love us because we’re loveable or because we make Him feel good. He loves us because He is love. While many of us know from Scripture that “God is love” and that His love is unconditional, there are aspects of His love that we often don’t think about or forget. While we know that God is love, how can we begin to understand this truth?
First, we should remember that God’s love is incomprehensible. To God, the word “love” has a much deeper meaning than it does for us. As we are reminded in John 3:16, God gave His one and only Son in exchange for us. We can’t fully understand God’s love and grace, but we can know that we were dead in our many sins. We can understand that our sinful nature keeps us from God, but that He provided a way for us to connect with Him. We don’t have to perfectly understand how all of this works in order to trust that God’s way is the best way for our lives.
Next, we should remember that God’s love is unbreakable. Nothing in all creation, in time, or space can alter the love that God has for you. His love is unbreakable. Romans 8:37-39 reminds us of this: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, or anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Everything that has come into existence is a result of God’s love. Every one of us has been brought into existence by God’s love. Even in the midst of our struggles and difficulties, we can be confident of God’s love, and there is no limit to it.
God’s love is the motivating force behind salvation. The end result of the salvation process is to become the actual sons and daughters of God. God Most High decided that He wanted to share the way of life with His children. He decided that He wanted to share all that He is and all that He has. As a result, He ordained a plan and created human life with the purpose of giving human beings the incredible opportunity of becoming actual members of His family. This special plan for all humankind is called salvation.
We are filled with the Spirit when we know God’s love. Often times people jump on the performance treadmill to try and get more out of God’s Spirit. But this isn’t biblical. We know that we have all of the Spirit at salvation (Ephesians 1:14). But, receiving God’s love means that Christ will be at home in us. In fact, Paul suggests that only one thing can cause us to be filled with the Spirit: knowledge of God’s love for us. Being filled with the Spirit and knowing God’s love are one and the same thing. When we receive God’s love, Christ is “at home” within us and we naturally and authentically respond by expressing His Spirit.
There are no limits to the love God has for you. Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “And I pray that you, being rotted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…” Knowing God’s heart means consistently, radically, and very concretely announcing and revealing that God is love and only love, and that every time fear, isolation, or despair begin to invade the human soul, it is then that we must pause, pray and ask for the Spirit to bring us once again to the point where “the love of Christ controls us” (2 Corinthian 5:14). And when we are controlled by the love of Jesus, we enter eternal freedom because His love comes without any conditions and limits.
Love is so important to God that it’s mentioned almost 700 times in the Bible. Love is more than we may understand. Jesus once gave a great definition of love when He said. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13), and that’s exactly what He did on the cross. God’s love can transform us. Our lives will be changed for the better when we can better comprehend His love for us and also love others. Even when we don’t know what the future looks like or where we’re being led, we can be rest assured that God is right there loving us through every situation we’re in and every decision we make. Even though we may have trouble discerning His voice, it doesn’t change who God is. Nothing can separate us from this promise.