1 John 4:8 and 16 say, “God is love.” That is the first, and possibly the hardest, thing we need to learn about God. That He loves me. Yes, me, Sandra. Yes, you put your name there. Say it out loud, God loves me, ______. From early in life we’re told we’re wrong, too loud, too quiet, too short, too tall. When others don’t criticize us, we turn on ourselves.
Fortunate indeed are those who grew up with loving, caring parents. But even they make mistakes in how to correct us and help us learn new things. Sometimes parents unconsciously don’t accept themselves and so don’t know how to honestly accept their child. That comes across to the child, that they aren’t accepted either. Heaven help us if we’re slightly different in some way from the other children in school.
If family and friends don’t berate us, then Satan will find some other way to do the job because his interest is to tear us down so we don’t have an idea of what a really loved person feels like. That’s why so many are people pleasers, trying to buy the love of another. Because of their own insecurities, some other people get arrogant and put down others or bully them.
If others don’t like us or love us, then how will God ever begin to think kindly of us? That’s a great question. How will He? He did from the beginning. Before the world was even formed, God’s plan was to create people to have relationships with Him. But He knew they’d get self-centered and turn away from Him, so from the very beginning God planned that one day Jesus would be born as a child and eventually become the Savior of everyone who would accept Him. God put Himself through all that unimaginable horror just so you and I can have a real relationship with our heavenly Father.
The first question must be “Is God your heavenly Father?” It’s time to look at a few Bible verses:
1 John 4:15-16 (NIV) If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
Hebrews 10:19-24 (TM): So, friends, we can now — without hesitation — walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. 22 So let’s do it — full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. 23 Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.
1 John 5:14-15 (NIV): This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV): Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.