Every human being has an intense desire to be LOVED. Our need to be loved is one of our most basic and fundamental needs.
John Bowlby, a psychoanalyst, is famous for his theory of attachment. He believed that a child’s attachment with their primary caregiver leads to the development of that child’s ‘internal working model’, which was his term for how that child would grow up to understand the world, themselves, and others.
Given the importance of the need to be loved, it isn’t surprising that most of us believe that a significant determinant of our happiness is whether we feel loved or not. In fact surveys consistently show that “having loving relationships” is one of people’s top goals—on par with the goal of “leading a happy and fulfilling life.”
Now, I don’t think the idea that we all long to be LOVED is a big shocker. In fact, I think that we all not only long to be LOVED but we also long for INTIMACY. Now fellas, before you check out, what I mean is that we all desire to have a select few people whom you FULLY KNOW and who FULLY KNOW you and LOVE YOU despite your CHARACTER FLAWS…male or female! They LOVE you for WHO YOU ARE and not just WHO YOU PRETEND to BE or wish you were.
It is not uncommon for people to say that “I don’t know what I believe about God, but I believe He is a God of love.” Really? I’m glad you believe that, but you need to know that you did not just come up with that idea on your own. You smuggled that idea from Christianity.
That is exclusively Christian. All throughout the Bible, it goes to great lengths to show the God of the Bible, the God that is love.
So, if this God of Christianity is so unique in that he is a God of love, and if people who do not believe in Christianity believe that he is a God of love, where is the disconnect?
I believe the DISCONNECT is that unfortunately CHRISTIANS don’t always LOOK LIKE the GOD they believe in! If you ask non-Christians what some of their complaints are with Christians, I’m sure you won’t hear them say man you Christians are just too loving!
Some of you have been around Christians that have sold you a different version of Christianity, of a God that didn’t LOVE everyone. Some of you have heard of a distant God who didn’t care about His creation. Some of you have heard Christians describe a God that hates some of the people that He made.
God LOVED us before we could ever LOVE Him.
LOVE is intricately connected to God’s GRACE, which we looked at last week. God showed us GRACE that we didn’t deserve on the cross, because He LOVED us.
God doesn’t LOVE you because of your own merit and goodness. He LOVES you because HE IS LOVE. Face it, …we are trained to think that way because there are people in our lives that we LOVE, but if we are honest, we flat out don’t LIKE. That’s because left to ourselves, we are CONDITIONAL givers of LOVE, and not UNCONDITIONAL like GOD.
God doesn’t simply LOVE you…he doesn’t just LIKE you…HE DELIGHTS IN YOU!
17 The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
FREEDOM is found when we live our lives understanding this Unique love, this central fact as followers of Jesus.
God DELIGHTS over me…and REJOICES OVER ME WITH SINGING. how can we be effective show others the love a God that we have yet to fully embrace? For us to lead well in ministry it must come from the overflow, and that begins with knowing you are uniquely loved.