How to Recieve & Respond to God’s Love

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How to Receive God’s Love

Throughout scripture, God’s love for His people comes through in many and varied ways. Through life experience, God’s love becomes apparent as His promises recorded throughout scripture show their truth for our individual lives and go beyond their application in the context of the day they took place.

In a culture where love lies distorted by a focus on self, emotional & physical feelings as well as material wealth, truly knowing how to receive authentic, real, passionate love has become increasingly clouded. Yet, receiving God’s love still remains simple. 

  1. Accept that you can’t fully understand God’s love. (Ephesians 3:18)
  2. Review His track record. (Romans 5:8)
  3. Understand the role of love in fear. (1 John 4:18)
  4. Spend time with Him. (John 15:10)
  5. Don’t let your love for Him grow cold. (Matthew 24:12)
  6. Seek a life of obedience. (2 John 1:6)

How to Respond to God’s Love

“Jesus replied, ‘The most important commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Isreal! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all our soul, all you mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29, 30)

 Having truly received God’s love and being filled to overflowing, we can’t help but express that which we have received. When you receive a wonderful gift, don’t you look forward to telling others about it and showing it to them? This should hold especially true for the greatest gift of all, the love of Christ.

The Bible, God’s love letter to His people, contains endless instruction on how to live a life of love. Let’s focus on some of those ways with immediate and hopefully obvious application.

  1. Focus on God. (Mark 12:29-30)
  2. Be known for love. (2 John 1:5)
  3. Overlook offenses. (1 Peter 4:8)
  4. Never give up. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
  5. Be authentic. (Romans 12:9)
  6. Love other Christians. (John 13:34)
  7. Love your enemies. (Matthew 5:43-44)

The Bible gives us lots of ways to show love to others, but the specific details (who, what, when, where, why & how) come to life in the unique and individual lives we each live. There are endless ways to show love because we are all unique individuals, and we all show love as uniquely as we were created.

Showing love is only difficult or complicated because we make it so. Keep love simple. Be obedient to God. Follow the first part of the greatest command – love God – and you’ll find the second part – love others – comes increasingly naturally (Matthew 22:36-40)

DISCUSSION: Why do you think receiving God’s love is difficult at times?

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14 Replies to “How to Recieve & Respond to God’s Love”

  1. I have a friend who I don't believe has received God's love because his father rejected him. An earthly rejecting father is such a hindrance to a loving relationship with the Lord.

    I think that affected me. My father was always loving toward me, but distant and didn't know what was happening in my life. I thought God was the same way–just loving from a distance. It really did help me spiritually when my father became more involved in my life as an adult. Many people don't have the benefit of that loving relationship with an earthly father.

    1. I get this all too well. My father has always been distant. I knew he loved me, but his focus has always been and still remains on himself. He is selfish still and not involved in my life at all. I have no ill feelings toward him about this; it's just the way it is, and I forgive him for it. I know he has deep-seeded issues he never dealt with. It's why my parents divorced and why he says pretty much the same thing when I call him. The conversation is rarely new. Learning to let God be my Father in ever sense of the word has been a true healing process for me. It's what allowed me to forgive my earthly father. That healing process is where I am learning to receive and respond to God more and more.

  2. My father was approving of me-as long as I played baseball. When I began to play basketball, he decided to not really be interested anymore. I considered him AWOL. It took me some time to understand God would not abandon me whenever I wandered, that His love was constant and never changed.

    1. My dad was AWOL too for the most part. Just more interested in his work and play than in our family. I didn't even realize it was an issue until I was an adult. I found out that this is not how a dad is supposed to be. And it took some time to realize that God was not distant like that either. So glad God changes hearts. He changed my heart for sure!

  3. I think we find it difficult at times because it does not feel like love. It feels like discipline instead of direction; it feels like being ignored instead of being taken care of. It is hard because we fail to recognize it nor are we willing to trust without reservation in God's love to let that love work it's wonders in our lives.

    1. Good point. We so often let feelings determine what we think should or shouldn't happen, and feelings often lead us astray. Plus, our culture really has messed up what love should feel like. There is simply too much of a focus on feelings.

  4. Two things strike me – oh, and I had a horribly abusive father and mother; they did the best they could with what they had, but they didn't have much in the parenting department. Melanie nailed that.

    The first is understanding what the word love means – and what it does not mean. The second is understanding the place of discipline in love. The answer to those items alone is a blog post in and of itself – possibly a series. Recognizing the difference between God's discipline and Satan's abuse (whether carried out by family member or another, or ourselves upon ourselves after years of conditioning) is sometimes something that we need to be educated about because we never were taught rightly in the first place.

    Just my .02 worth – great post!

    1. Wow, Rick. You have some serious background that God has done amazing things with. You make some terrific points. Defining love is important, and it's something I think we don't understand accurately. Understanding discipline in love can certainly be messed up because not only do we have an inaccurate definition of love but of discipline as well. And, I have never really thought to identify Satan's abuse as contrasted with God's discipline. Will definitely have to spend some scripture time and thought on that one. I welcome any additional thoughts on this too, especially if I decide to head toward a blog post or series on the topic. Thanks for your ideas and input… I think they are worth way more than 2 cents!

  5. I think showing God's love gets difficult at times because we lose focus and begin turning our hearts toward idols. Suddenly our lives become about living comfortable and fun lifestyles instead of investing in eternity.

    1. I have said this quote 3 times recently in comments: Your focus determines your reality. I have also been reading in Col. 3:1-17 and Phil. 3 & 4 about being heavenly minded, etc. and am feeling more of a pull toward a right focus. Amazing how we can think we are.focused right a not be.

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