Finding it Difficult to Feel God’s Love?

Finding it Difficult to Feel God’s Love?

We weren’t going to enjoy our first kiss until my man was ready to say, “I love you”. Think what you may, but for me this was a good plan. It gave significance to our first kiss and sweetness to when he said, “I love you”.

Nowadays I use the word “love” so much its like breezing through a box of Kleenex during a chick flick. Frequent. Not fully utilized. Eventually tossed in the garbage. “I love those shoes.” “I love my husband.” “I love your Tupperware.” “I love my children.” You get the drift.

So when we see this beautiful declaration in 1 John 4, “God is love”. We could casually think, “That is nice,” but then toss it to the side with every other thing we “love”.

But let’s take a moment to explore a little Greek vocabulary. Let’s see what we can uncover to deepen our understanding of these three life-changing words, “God is love.”

To start, let’s play a little game of true or false.

Question #1 – Every time the word “love” is used in Scripture it means the same thing. True or False?

False. In the New Testament, there are several different Greek words used that we translate as “love” but they speak to different kinds of “love”.

Question #2 – The word “love” used in the sentence, “God is love”, refers to the heart-shaped-box-buying-Valentine’s-Day kind of love that can run dry or disappoint. True or False?

You might have guessed it, false. In my extremely limited Greek research, there are three predominant words for “love”. They are…

  • “Philia” – The love of friendship. It can describe loyalty to friends, family and community.
  • “Eros” – The passionate love we see displayed on TV and in movies. It is the romantic love of deep longing and attraction that often fizzles after a period of time.
  • “Agape” – The love of deep affection toward a spouse or children. Words or phrases like devoted, generous, to value, to esteem are descriptors of “agape” love. It can encompass a total commitment to and self-sacrificial love toward that which is loved.

Though “philia” is used, “agape” is the predominant type of “love” referenced in the New Testament. It is used to describe Christ’s love toward his twelve disciples and God’s love toward his son, Jesus.

God is love. He doesn’t just have love or loves. God. Is. Love. The very nature of God is “agape” love. His very person, a deep abiding devotion. At his very essence, affection and generosity.

When his Spirit takes up residence in us, so we abide in his “agape” love. We abide in it so we can experience its depth and extend it to others. And like Paul, I pray, “you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully” (Eph. 3:18-19). Let’s give it a try, shall we?

Restore

  • As we begin, find a quiet corner to sit and take a few deep breaths. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand how high and wide, how long and deep God’s love is for you. If you would like some extra time to prepare your heart, enjoy Holy Spirit by Bryan and Katie Torwalt.
  • Meditate on Mark 15:33-34. “At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Love in action. As Christ hung on the cross with the filth of the world’s sin on his shoulders he cried out to his Dad. It was the first moment, the only moment but his Dad couldn’t be in relationship with him because of our sin. God loves us so much he sacrificed his son and watched him suffer on our behalf. Soak in that reality. Realize what he did on your behalf so he could call you his own. He denied his spotless son, so he could be in relationship with his daughter, whose sin nailed his son to the cross. That is the “agape” love he has for you. Let it in.

Rehearse

  • And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38). Write out the things that you think separate or distance you from God’s love. Reflect on your past and ponder your present. Write it down. Then fold your paper up. Get out a scissors. Then re-read Romans 8:38 out loud and like you are cutting up a credit card, cut the dickens out of that paper. Throw it away and be done with it. Nope. Nothing. No. Thing. Can separate you from the sweetest of loves, God himself.
  • How can you be “love” to someone today? Lend a judgment free ear. Call a friend just because, no agenda. Pay for someone’s coffee. Have fun relating to your Father by displaying a devoted and generous love to others.

Dad, you deserve to hear us call you that, “Dad.” What can we say knowing you had to turn your face away from your one and only son, Jesus, so we could be adopted into your family? Thank you for adoring us so. May our hearts shed tears of gratitude for all you are and all you have done for us. Love, Your Daughters

Note: This is Week 4 of a 12 Week Identity Challenge. If you want to join in and receive the next weeks via email, send me word.

About Erin Nicole Thompson

Erin Nicole Thompson is a fun-loving and authentic momma to 4 littles, wife of a ruggedly handsome Pastor, and as she likes to think, the CEO of her home operations. She delights in worship, cooking with good music, the sweet faces of her sleeping children, adult conversations, and some quiet time at Starbucks. She loves to serve alongside, encourage, and equip young and seasoned women. Erin is grateful to be part of what God is doing at The Chapel, a multi-campus church in Northern Chicago-land where her husband, Dave, pastors the Lake Zurich Campus. Presently, she lives to dream and follow God as he writes her story.