Do You Really Love Me?

Welcome to Real Life.  Come join me on my journey to take hold of the life that is truly life through knowing the God who is truly God.  George MacDonald described it well:
"But the woman to whom God is all in all, who feels her life roots hid with Christ in God, who knows herself the inheritor of all wealth and worlds and ages, yes, of power essential and in itself, that woman has begun to be alive indeed."  
That's the Real Life I'm talking about.  Are you with me?  Let's begin this journey by talking about love.  Because to know God, we must know his love...

Do You Really Love Me?

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. 
He will take great delight in you, 
he will quiet you with his love, 
he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

At one time, I couldn't own this verse.  I knew intellectually that it was true.  God loves me.  He loves everyone, right?   It was easy for me to believe that God loves you.  But, I struggled to experience it myself.  Though the Christian life is not based on feelings or experiences, they do validate our beliefs.

Because I struggled to experience God’s love, I started to believe a lie.  I thought God’s love was tied to my behavior: if I behaved better, God would love me more.  I lived under a cloud of guilt.  I wasn't doing enough.  I wasn't good enough for God to love me.  So, I tried harder.  I volunteered, joined committees, coordinated conferences, cooked meals, sang in the choir, etc.  Every morning, noon, and night held some commitment.  I was exhausted.  Finally one day, I hit the wall.  I had an emotional breakdown.  I was such a mess, I could barely function.  The funny thing is that it was there in that broken place, where I could no longer work to earn God’s love, that I felt so loved by him.  I knew he allowed my breakdown.  He loved me too much to let me keep living a lie.  I didn’t have to earn God’s love.  His love is not like the love we experience in this world: you do for me, I’ll do for you; you love me, I’ll love you.  God’s love is not based on my performance.  It’s based on who he is.  God is love.[1]  It’s his nature to love.  


God loves me because of who he is, not because of who I am.

Don't get me wrong. God wants me to live a holy life. But, my behavior does not affect his love for me. I can’t do one thing to make him love me any more (or any less) than he already does. He loves me so completely; it would be impossible to add a drop to that love. I know it. I feel it. I believe it. 

When I live deeply rooted and grounded in God’s love, I can love others well. Not because of who they are (how loveable they are), but because of who I am in Christ. My heart is full of his unconditional love.

God loves you! It can sound almost trite. The reality is anything but trite. The reality changed my life.
Something to think about…
  • Reread Zephaniah 3:17 above.  Take a few minutes to let God quiet you with his love.  Think about him taking great delight in you and rejoicing over you with singing.  
  • If it is hard for you to experience God’s love, ask him to help you.  I’m praying this for you:
And I pray that you, being rooted 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—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.      Eph. 3:17b-19
More on this topic coming soon: my article “Trying So Hard” will appear in P31 Woman magazine (www.proverbs31.org) in January 2012.



[1] 1 John 4:8

Comments

  1. I'm so proud of you! God is doing an amazing work through you <3
    Honored to be your friend :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing your heart and your struggle, Peggi. Very encouraging!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm Catherine Hershey's friend in Arkansas. Congrats on your blog. Also Moody Radio was a great blessing to me when I lived in Cleveland.

    ReplyDelete

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