I remember when I met Jesus. Like, really met Jesus. It opened my eyes to the mystery of His all-encompassing love. That was when I began learning that faith wasn’t only about salvation. It was also about the here and now — this side of the cross. I learned that to know God and His love is to change your life.
In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ… -Ephesians 3:4
God’s love empowers us to love well. After all, Scripture does say that God is love. It empowers us to see and love ourselves as God sees and loves us. Then, in turn, we can love others from that same lens and out of the fullness of that love.
Our differences do not negate that love because we see them through a lens of grace and of the beautiful wonder of each of God’s creation.
How God’s Love Changes Your Life
The world is an angry place. It’s filled with pain, hurt, and rejection. Friends, it’s filled with sin. I wish I could tell you there is a way to walk this life unscathed, but I can’t.
But what I can do is put things in proper perspective for you. That perspective tells us that God is far more powerful than anything we may ever face on this earth.
But to wrap our minds around this truth and really soak it in, we must do more than just know about God. We need to really know Him. As I referenced in the first three posts of this series, we must know things like His character and His majesty. We must spend time with Him by worshiping, reading His Word, and in prayer.
Once we truly know Him, then we can know ourselves as His. As vessels of Christ who live in His reflection rather than in the reflection of an unsteady and often ugly world.When we are authentically connected to God we inherit a holy confidence. It’s a confidence that enables us to face the brokenness of the world with courage. Click To Tweet
When we are authentically connected to God we inherit a holy confidence. It’s a confidence that enables us to face the brokenness of the world with courage. A courage that is necessary if we want to have authentic relationships.
If we want to live with purpose.
With depth of character.
And worth of self.
Isn’t that what we want to share with the world? Isn’t that what we want to bring to ourselves and our relationships?
The depth of our connection with God determines the depth to which we can authentically connect with others.
7 Verses to Use as a Guide to Change Your Life
***Remember, each of these verses hold a page in the Journal, too! They look like this:
When God’s love defines us, fear cannot control us. His love leaves us free to face opportunities head-on. We comfortably set boundaries instead of walls. We love out of an overflow, not out of fear and brokenness.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. -2 Timothy 1:6-7 ESV
God’s love enables us to extend forgiveness far beyond what the world tells us is possible. That forgiveness frees bitterness and ignites a flame of hope. It also frees us from the shame of our own sin. If God forgives us, the burden of that shame is released. And surely, if God, in His infinite might and life-changing sacrifice forgives us, we can forgive ourselves.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1 ESV
When we are grateful, pride loses its power. And when pride is not involved and irritation doesn’t live near the surface, taking offense to minor or non-relationship-impacting incidences becomes less tempting.
Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon, and stars. -James 1:17a GW
When God’s love lives within our hearts we find it easier to communicate truth in love. It is essential to effective communication to speak with the other’s best interest in mind. When we leave judgment aside, our words are interpreted without defense, and often without offense.
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. -Luke 6:45 ESV
Rejoicing without jealousy alongside a loved one stems from a heart filled with God’s love. Comparison no longer holds its power over us. When I know I am loved, I know that God created me uniquely in body and mind. I realize that my life journey is different. I realize it is not less than nor is it comparable. Instead, it is beautifully unique.
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. -Isaiah 64:8 ESV
Without expecting a return, we sacrifice for another. Whether it’s risking hurt feelings or not, successful relationships need encouragement and a willingness to sacrifice.
Successful relationships take commitment. When we are connected to the ultimate Love, staying is part of who we are. Instead of running out the door at the first disagreement or disappointment, we tap into the grace God has placed in our hearts. We find the courage and we work through the problems with our loved one.
He has not treated us as we deserve for our sins or paid us back for our wrongs. As high as the heavens are above the earth—that is how vast his mercy is toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west—that is how far he has removed our rebellious acts from himself. -Psalm 103:10-12 GW
Clear communication is critical to our relationships. We make excuses, avoid the truth, or argue simply for the sake of arguing. With God’s love and Word as a guide for our actions, we do the right things even when they are hard.
Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one. -Matthew 5:37
These 7 ways are only the very beginning. God’s love equips us in innumerable ways to have successful relationships. It’s in one of those ways I’d like to spend a few more moments. It’s in the critical area of embracing God’s love for you.
Have You Embraced God’s Love for You?
Comparison is not only the thief of joy. It kills purpose, suffocates creativity, and cripples victory.
It affects us and every relationship we have. Because when we feel less than, it is nearly impossible to function at our best.Comparison is not only the thief of joy. It kills purpose, suffocates creativity, and cripples victory. Click To Tweet
So, how do we handle it?
By knowing we are loved.
Not just any love because the love we find here on Earth is fickle. It’s a truth we don’t like, but there’s a reason for it. You see, even the best of humans are broken. We are not perfection (even if our Instagram account insinuates differently!) We all fall short and our love runs only as deep as our humanity.
But God’s love transcends humanity. His love is perfection. It is beyond what we can comprehend.
Friends, His love is what gives us a powerful weapon against every ugly trick the enemy throws our way. A powerful weapon I call holy confidence.
However, we must intentionally choose to embrace that holy confidence and take it into the battleground of life.
Confidence is defined as: the full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.
Holy confidence takes that trust and belief out of the hands of a fallible world and transfers it to the one and only infallible Power.
When I know I am loved, I know that even when I make mistakes, I am given another chance. It propels me into courageously asking both God and those I have offended for forgiveness. I walk in freedom knowing that God separates my sin from me as far as the East is from the West. Shame then loses its power and can no longer define me.When I know I am loved, I know that even when I make mistakes, I am given another chance. It propels me into courageously asking both God and those I have offended for forgiveness. Click To Tweet
And finally, when I know I am loved, I can set healthy boundaries. I recognize when sacrifice slips into enablement and toxicity attempts to control my life.
So, friend, know you are loved beyond measure and allow that love to change your life.
A Prayer to Change Your Life With God’s Love
Dear Jesus, Your majesty is unsurpassed. You’ve created the beauty of the ocean, the stars, and the moon. And You created me. I am humbled by that enormous truth. Nothing You create falls short of marvelous — including me. Today, Father, I am choosing to embrace that truth and embrace Your unfailing and unconditional love for me. I want to love myself and others as You have called me to love. I don’t want to love out of a brokenness or out of pride, but love as You love. Lord, I ask You to change me from the inside out. Penetrate my heart with Your love and make me the best version of myself. A self that follows hard after You and lives out my God-given purpose with victory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
A Time to Reflect: Week 4 Focus Questions
- What are the actions or words done or said most often to you that affect your relationships and/or sense of purpose?
- How do you believe God’s love could positively affect your relationships and/or purpose?
- Which of this week’s verses resonate most with you? Write it on a card, on your mirror with a dry erase marker, or hang it on your refrigerator. Repeat it every day this week. Read it out loud. Pray it. Ask God to reveal Himself to you through it.
An Extra Challenge:
I have created an interactive 5-minute quiz that will tell you how well you see yourself as a reflection of Christ versus a reflection of an ever-changing and often angry world. What is your Identity Factor (IF) and how does it affect all of your relationships? Do you long for more than the world’s reflection?
The Series: For When You Want to Know God’s Unconditional Love
Want to start from the beginning or check out another post from the series? Just click on the title below.
Finally, here’s what you get with the series:
- Each week, I will give you Bible verses, a prayer, questions to ponder, and extra resources.
- I’ve created a printable journal to help you walk through the series. Each page will have scripture at the top and an area for you to journal your thoughts and answers to the challenge questions found in each post. The journal is available free to all subscribers.