"How Do I Know God Loves Me?"

September 27, 2009
Ephesians 3:14-19
Have we grasped the dimensions of the love of Christ? Have we grasped the dimensions of the cross? It's wide and long and high and deep.

Many of our problems in life come from not understanding how much God loves us.

It can cause worry, shame, fear, guilt and insecurity.

In Ephesians 3:17,18, we find a prayer that the Apostle Paul prayed for the believers in Ephesus:

. . . I pray that you . . . may have power . . . to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ . . .

Have we been able to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ?

How can we know that God loves us?

I.                    We can know God loves us because He made us.

Psalm 145:17 = The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.

God made us to love us.

We were created to have a family relationship, not just a religion.

How many of us really thought that our children were going to be perfect?

Babies burp and do other messy things.

As they get older, they sometimes break things.

And sometimes they get into trouble.

But we still love them.

What is it? Are we crazy?

No! We are parents and God put within us a capacity to love our children.

God also has that capacity to love us.

He knew every foolish thing that we would ever do and yet He created us.

II.                  We can know God loves us because He knows every detail of our lives.

Matthew 10:29-31 = "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

God loves us and is interested in the details of our lives.

He is interested in us when we are happy and when we are sad.

He is interested in us when we succeed and when we don't succeed.

Why would He be interested in us?

Because He made us.

As parents, we are interested in our kids.

We are interested because we love them.

III.                We can know God loves us because He gave us the capacity for pleasure.

I Timothy 6:17 = Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

God created the world in color and He gave us a set of eyes to enjoy His creation.

He made this beautiful world with canyons and mountains and sunrises and sunsets and rivers and waterfalls.

God gave us ears to hear many different kinds of sounds that are pleasing to the ear.

We call it music.

God gave us taste buds to enjoy the many different flavors we find in food.

I think God enjoys watching us enjoy our food.

I know God enjoys watching me eat cheesecake, at least the first piece.

IV.               We can know God loves us because He sent Jesus to die for us.

This is the ultimate proof of God's love.

Romans 5:8 = But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

How many people do you know who would die for you?

The Bible says that even while we didn't know God, while we rejected Him, God sent His Son to pay the penalty of our sin.

Some people stay away from God because they think God doesn't love them or even like them because they know they have sinned.

Jesus told a story one time about a prodigal son.

A man had a son who took his inheritance, left home and blew his inheritance.

The father loved his son before he left home.

The father loved his son after he left home.

The father loved his son while he was foolishly spending his inheritance.

The father loved his son when he finally came back home.

There has never been a time in your life when God has stopped loving you.

Have we grasped the dimensions of the love of Christ?

Have we grasped the dimensions of the cross?

It's wide and long and high and deep.

I pray that we would have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.

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Discussion Questions for Wake Up with the Word for Sunday, October 4th:

Discussion Question #1: Read Ephesians 3:14-19. Paul prays that the Ephesian believers would be able to grasp the depth of Christ's love. What are some things that would enable us to grasp the depth of Christ's love?    What are some hindrances to grasping Christ's love?

Discussion Question #2: In Ephesians 3:19, what do you think it means to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God?

Discussion Question #3: Read Matthew 10:29-31. We see here that sparrows sometimes do fall to the ground. Does that mean that we too may fall to the ground?

Discussion Question #4: What impact do you think a passage like Matthew 10:29-31 would have on someone   struggling with a lack of self-worth?

Discussion Question #5: Read I Timothy 6:17. God has given us the capacity for pleasure. What do you think the word "everything" in this verse refers to?