Does God love the individual? What does “God is love” really mean? How can you say God loves us when there is so much pain and heartache in the world? There seems to be as many different answers to these questions as there are people asking them. There were times in my life that I believed God did not love people and that He did not even exist. The reason for this was I felt I was the most unlovable person on earth which happens when you grow up being teased and ridiculed by your peers. Also, I was angry at God for taking my dad; I was barely six-years old when he died of pancreatic cancer. My mother always said, "Only the good die young"; even now when I am feeling down I think, "of course she was right about the good dying young, that is why I am living such a long life." I stayed mad at God until I was 27 and then I began my search for Him. He became my Savior and I found out that He really does love each of us far beyond what we can understand.
Many think He only loves the Christians or only the Jews or only the Muslim, etc; but He loves everyone, even those that hate Him and do not believe that He exists. There are three types of love; the first one is Eros or erotic love. This would be the romantic type of love that all of us crave. The second one is Philos which is love based on friendship and a give-and-take relationship, another love that we all crave and need. The third one is Agape love. This is unconditional love - the "I love you no matter what you do" love - the sacrificial love of God. This is God's love, the love that gave His only Son to die for those that hated Him and the love that the Son agreed with the Father and willingly gave His life for the ones that hated Him. The love that the Holy Spirit witnesses to each of us what the love of God truly is. Yes, God loves the unlovable, the ugly, the murderer, the thief, the liar. All of us are guilty but there is hope because God loves us and shows us the way to climb out of our mire - if only we would listen.
Take me for example, I could blame it on ADHD, but it is really sin. I can get in trouble in three seconds flat and destroy any testimony I may have had for the Lord and ruin my life as well. This is part of the growing process, it is hard and I don't like it at all, but the loving God knows exactly what it takes to get through to the hardest heads, and of course He is going to win; it is totally amazing why I don't give up but instead, keep fighting and falling and fighting some more. It is all about learning to trust God and let go instead of trying to do everything on your own and being so self-sufficient that you don't need Him. There is a reason He calls us sheep. Sheep are not smart, they are prone to wander and forget what they are suppose to be doing and where they are suppose to be. I am the turkey of the sheep; about the only thing I haven't done so far is drown in the rain. And yet, God is there, always picking up the pieces and aiming me in the right direction, then watching me wander off and fall off another cliff, burying myself in whatever trouble I have gotten myself into. Then God picks me up again and will do so as many times as it takes - I don't understand His love at all, but I am as grateful as I am undeserving of it.
The fact remains, He loves each of us the same whether we make good choices or bad choices, whether we hate Him or love Him. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Please do take note, there is a "perish" part and if you don't accept Jesus as your Savior, you will go to a Christ-less eternity in hell. Nevertheless, God still loves you until that last moment when you are about to enter the lake of fire and He is forced to say, "I never knew you." That is your choice and not His and because He is a righteous God, He must exact the punishment for not accepting Christ's sacrifice for yourself.
As I look back on my stupidity, I can see the things God has done in my life to get me back on track, the prayers He has answered, both small and large; and I can praise Him for everything He has done and all the love He has given me. He loved and guided me in my early life while I hated Him and loved and guided me with the same love after I accepted Him as my Savior. Amazed, I vow that I will do anything for Him (and I know I mean it and would do it if only I was able), I thank and praise Him with tears of repentance - then I get out of bed and fall on my face. Yes, He truly does love the unlovable.
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