APPROPRIATING GOD’S LOVE FOR US

One of the most popular Bible verses from the Gospels is John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV)

For many of us, this was one of the first Bible verses we memorised and can actually still quote, especially the King James Version of it. Unfortunately, however, we often tend to see God’s love referred to in it as a global, a universal thing, rather than a personal thing. We do not doubt that God loves, in fact we are convinced that God is love as the Scriptures say (1 John 4:8). But we see it as a general, impersonal thing between the mighty God and His creation. Thus, we fail to appropriate God’s love as a personal, intimate thing as it should rightly be.

Let us for one moment look away from “the world” in the scripture above and focus on ourselves, for the Bible only talks about the world because we are its constituents, else it wouldn’t use the word “whosoever” in there. God’s love is rightly meant for us, for you and I.

God’s greatest concern is for us. The whole redemption plan is about us. It’s about bridging the gap between us and God that we might have unhindered interaction with Him as He had with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. It must break the heart of God, though, that after sending Son to pay the debt for our sins by dying on the cross, some of us still prefer not to be confronted with that fact and keep Him at a distance. We struggle in our own power to be good, we think we can earn our place on the side of good in the cosmic battle between good and evil by “doing our best”.

But if we can see that it is not for us to decide how much good is good enough and acknowledge that our best efforts often fall short of our own standards, let alone the standards of the holy God, then we will know that surrenderiing to Him is a far better option than our self-help strategies.

We need a personal revelation of God’s love for us as individuals, every single one of us. Without it, we will continue to shut Him out and strive to elbow our way through life. Then when we get exhausted or things just refuse to work, we will be tempted to accuse God of not ordering the world aright, of not insisting on fairness and justice enough.

If we have a personal revelation of God’s love for us and we are daily walking in it, we can take whatever blows that come along life’s path and remain undaunted. Nothing will break our spirit, nothing will devastate us. We might hurt and grieve for a season but we will bounce back stronger than before because the One who made us is in our corner, speaking life and strength into us, tending our wounds and sending us out again reinvigorated.

The psalmists had the revelation I’ve been referring to. They didn’t just walk in the understanding that they were from the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, each saw himself as specially loved by God and actively reciprocated that love. That is why many of the psalms written in worship sound like love songs. The threads of emotional connection, wilful surrender and abandonment run through.

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No wonder, the greatest psalmist, King David, survived and triumphed in spite of the ordeals he passed through. David not only loved the Lord, many times he admonished others to do the same. The last two of the following passages show that as the others also confirm the personal relationship between the psalmists and the Lord.

“1. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” – Psalm 42:1-2 (KJV)

“1. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 3. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.” – Psalm 63:1, 3 (KJV)


“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” – Psalm 73:25 (KJV)

“1. Lord, how I love you! For you have done such tremendous things for me. 2. The Lord is my fort where I can enter and be safe; no one can follow me in and slay me. He is a rugged mountain where I hide; he is my Savior, a rock where none can reach me, and a tower of safety. He is my shield. He is like the strong horn of a mighty fighting bull. 3. All I need to do is cry to him—oh, praise the Lord—and I am saved from all my enemies!” – Psalm18:1-3 (TLB)


“Love the LORD, all you godly ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant.” – Psalm 31:23 (NLT)

My prayer is that each of us heed this advice by receiving Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and by walking in obedience to God’s word as it is the only way to appropriate God’s love. This will open a whole new world to us, a world where we no longer feel alone, where we no longer put our confidence in stuff that can disappoint like people, wealth and influence and a world where everything doesn’t turn on our puny efforts. For when we receive God’s love and reciprocate, His grace and power become our portion and our testimony become like that of David and the psalmists. May the foregoing be our portion hebceforth in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.
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35 thoughts on “APPROPRIATING GOD’S LOVE FOR US

  1. Wonderful truths. I am sitting here humming now, “Oh how He loves you and me”. It’s when we really grasp that truth that we can grow and grow in Him.

  2. You’re so right that we all need that “ah-ha!” moment about how much God loves us. I think until we have it, we walk a bit lost. We can never truly connect with God until we understand His essence of how He loves us. He is so good, He continually reminds us of His love all the time! Thanks for posting 🙂

  3. I feel so elevated in my spirit. even the scriptures confirm that God is indeed love and he expresses this in so many ways that we cannot even fathom

  4. oh! what manner of love, that a Man lay down his life for his friends…. what other definition could love get.. i’ll simply say ‘GOD IS LOVE’.

  5. GODS love is unspeakable. HE loves us more than we can imagine. In our world today, they valve male over female which is not suppose to be so. GOD gave us his only son, to die for our sins, which father can give up his only son to save another person or even the daughter, no one. It is only our FATHER IN HEAVEN that can do that. HIS love for us is not to be measured despite how badly we disobey him.

    • Inspiring! Just like a song writer says, “Lord it is my chief complaint, that my love is weak and faint, YET I LOVE YOU AND ADORE ;OH FOR GRACE TO LOVE YOU MORE. That’s always my heart cry. Thanks for this.

  6. God’s love for us is immeasurable,he loves us more than we can imagine or think, knowing this and falling in love with him is the best thing that can happen in our lives.

  7. God loves me “personally” just like he loves everyone. He will see me through even in times of affliction.
    Thank you ma for this reminder. God bless you

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