I used to be obsessed with CD samplers. I loved discovering new and obscure music, so I picked them up whenever I could. A lot of the music was terrible, but there were a few jewels. One song in particular impacted me even to this day. The band’s name is long gone, but the chorus rings in my head and makes me think, “You must love yourself before anybody else can.”
The phrase always bugged me; made me uncomfortable. But now I think I see what they’re getting at: our beliefs impact our actions.
When we believe something deep down inside, this belief turns into action. This is James’ point in James 2:14 when he says, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”
God is love. I know this from 1 John 4:8, but do I believe it enough to let it change my life?
In recent days I’ve been challenged to allow myself to believe, really believe, that God loves me deeper and wider than any other person could love me. More than I can comprehend or understand. I need to believe it, because it is by this measure—the measure I believe Jesus loves me—that I will love God.
First John 4:19 says “We love each other because he loved us first.” And Matthew 22:39 says, “...Love your neighbor as yourself.” If I don’t believe God loves me, I can’t love Him. And if I don’t love myself, I can’t love my neighbours.
So I ask this question: Do I believe God loves me enough to let it change my life? Do you?
Chuck Swindoll in his message “The Love of God” says what we think about God is the most important thing about us.
If we shape our thinking from the culture around us, our life will remain complicated and even become chaotic. But if we allow Holy Scripture to shape our thinking, God will emerge in our minds as He is: real, meaningful, all-powerful. What we think about God is the most important thing about us.1
Your love for others is impacted by how much you believe God loves you—since your life reflects your belief and flows out of every part of you. What you think about God impacts everything.
It’s easy to think you’ve done too much wrong and there’s no way God still loves you. But this is not truth. Nothing, nothing, can separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:35-40). It may not make sense, but that doesn’t make it less true.
God loves you. And you need to really, truly believe this so your faith will be living, active, and effective.
If you ask why your only answer will be “because I love you.” But why? I don’t deserve it! Because I love you.
And He’ll keep saying it until you hear and believe Him.
And He’ll keep saying it and He won’t stop. Jesus loves you.
Let it change your life today.
1 The Love of God, by Charles R. Swindoll, Copyright © 2008, 2016 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.