My Story

Welcome to Real Life. I'm Peggi Tustan. Come join me on the journey to take hold of the life that is truly life by knowing the God who is truly God. To know God, we must know his love.

Do You Really Love Me, Lord?
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 in my mind it was true. God loves me. He loves everyone, right? It was easy for me to believe God loves you. But, I struggled to experience it myself. Though the Christian life is not based on feelings, 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. And 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, and more. Every morning, noon, and night held some commitment. Whew!

Finally, 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 doesn't 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.

Take it Further

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's 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 (Ephesians 3:17-19, NIV).

[1] 1 John 4:8 and 16

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