People today don’t understand God and His love, and that breaks my heart. The message most people get is the Hollywood version, that God either hates them or is terribly angry with them. He’s not a vengeful God waiting for us to make a mistake so He can have a reason to condemn and punish us. God is the very essence of love, and He wants very much to enfold us in His arms and embrace us.

The God kind of love goes much further, wider, and deeper than human love. Humans love cautiously, conditionally, and with reservations, but His love is eternal and has no boundaries. The Father in heaven loves us so much, He sacrificed His own Son on our behalf so He could have a relationship with us. “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16, 17).

Jesus, Who is the perfect image of His Father, died a painful death on a cross for us, then rose from the dead with the promise that we can have access to the same eternal life in heaven that He has. Out of love for us, He made promise after promise to us, and we have His word that He’ll be faithful and true, unlike any fair-weather friend. “He will keep his agreement forever; he will keep his promises always” (Psalm 105:8, NCV).  God is exceedingly, abundantly good. When you’re embraced by Him, you’ll know it!

He wants to be with us, just like earthly parents enjoy being with their children, because our acceptance by faith of what Jesus did for us on the cross to save us from our sins makes us God’s children. Because we’re His children, we’re also heirs to all the promises made in the Bible (Romans 8:15-17). In addition to a victorious life, some of the other gifts He wants to give us include peace, joy, prosperity, safety, forgiveness, and wisdom. It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not.

We all share the basic needs for love and happiness, but many people don’t know where to find them. The world offers substitutes, but they leave a person feeling empty and unfulfilled inside. God has been the same since before the beginning of time, and He wants only good things for us. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, TLB).

This isn’t the kind of hope the world clings to, laced with doubt and uncertainty. The hope that comes from God never lets us down, even in tough times. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (Romans 8:24). This is remarkably similar to what the Scriptures teach us about faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). When we truly believe God’s promises to us, He strengthens our faith in Him.

He wants to pour out blessings on you abundantly so they will spill over onto others. In this way, you’ll experience—perhaps for the first time in your life—what it’s like to receive and give His love. Your Father is waiting for you!

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