By Lori Hatcher, Crosswalk.com
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...” This line from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem has probably been quoted more than any other declaration of love. Except, perhaps, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world.”
Thousands of years before Browning wrote her love declaration, God was writing His. It’s written in the sky, the sea, and the land. It encompasses eternity past, present, and future. And it will live forever.
If you’ve ever questioned God’s unlimited love, here are 10 things that prove it.
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1. God’s Patience
I lived for 18 years independently of God. I was (so I thought), the master of my own destiny and the captain of my own soul. If you asked me, I’d tell you I was a Christian, but nothing in my life backed up this claim.
I believed God existed, prayed to Him when I was in trouble, and lived a reasonably moral life, but I had never repented of my sins and asked His forgiveness.
My sins deserved God’s wrath, yet He did not destroy me. Nehemiah 9:17 gives this description of God: “You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
God didn’t leave me in my sin but wooed me to Himself. Through the witness of others, the preaching of His Word, and the still small voice of the Holy Spirit in my heart, He helped me see myself as I truly was—a hopeless sinner in need of a Savior. He gave me the faith I needed to repent of my sin and cry out to Him for salvation.
2. God’s Willingness to Forgive
“Memorize this,” my wise mentor said after I committed my life to Christ. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I soon discovered what my mentor already knew, that although God had delivered me from the penalty of my sin when I placed my faith in Christ, I’d continue to battle my sinful nature. My sin no longer prevented me from having a relationship with God, but it interfered with my fellowship with Him.
I needed to apply the truth of 1 John 1:9 to my life every day to restore that fellowship. But how amazing it is that He is faithful to forgive, every time!
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3. God’s Never-Ending Presence
My mother left me at the door of my kindergarten classroom. My father left me at my first Brownies meeting. My best friend left me when a bully threatened us on the playground, and my boyfriend left me when he transferred schools in first grade. Friends, family, coworkers, and even pastors have left me.
But God never has.
When I sobbed because we were moving 1,000 miles away, God was there. When my first love stopped returning my calls, God was there. When I struggled through college, God was there. When I suffered the heartbreak of marital challenges, wayward children, and overwhelming grief, God was there.
"I will never leave you nor forsake you,” God promised in Hebrews 13:5, and He has kept this promise.
4. The Holy Spirit
I’ve often envied the disciples—the twelve men who sat at Jesus’ feet, walked by His side, and witnessed His miracles. What was it like to hear Jesus teach? Or talk to Him when they were afraid or confused? What a joy it must have been to have unlimited access to God in the flesh.
Yet we have an even greater gift—another proof of God’s unlimited love. When Christ ascended to heaven, He didn’t leave us orphaned, alone to fend for ourselves in the world.
“And I will pray the Father,” Jesus told his disciples, “and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
God with us became God in us for those who believe.
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5. God’s Discipline
When I hear the word discipline, my mind immediately goes to wooden spoons, switches, and lost privileges. Or the grownup version—traffic tickets, fines, docked wages, and jail sentences.
I never equated discipline with love until I read Hebrews 12:5-6: “My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
Since I’ve become a Christian, I’ve learned God allows natural and divine consequences to coach me in right living. Like my human father, He loves me too much to allow me to continue in my sin. Sometimes he’ll discipline me through teaching, training, and instruction.
See the word disciple hiding in the word discipline? Other times He’ll use corrective means to get me back on track.
Before God created the heavens and the earth, He lived within the perfect fellowship of the Godhead. He lacked nothing, nor did He long for companionship, relationship, or affection. Then, to showcase His glory and demonstrate His love, He created a beautiful world and placed us in it.
“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,” 1 Timothy 6:17 says.
Think a moment about everything marvelous you experience in this world: brilliant sunsets, cool breezes, wiggly puppies, and ice cream sundaes. Laughter with friends, the perfect cup of coffee, and the smell of leaves in the fall.
God has filled the world with endless delights—created with you in mind—because He loves you.
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After you’ve pondered our marvelous though sin-damaged world, let’s imagine something far better. A place with no sin, no sorrow, no pain, and no death. With everything sad and bad removed, God pulled out all His creative stops.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb . . . No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:1-9).
Heaven is proof positive of God’s unlimited love for us.
8. The Bible
When God called Moses to the top of Mt. Sinai in 1,300 BC, He inspired him to write the first five books of the Bible. God wanted to reveal His love for mankind, explain His plan of salvation, and teach us about Himself. Over the next 1,500 years, He directed 35 different men to write the Bible we have today.
The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947 confirmed that we still have the same Old Testament as they did in Jesus’ day. The survival of thousands of New Testament manuscripts confirms that God has also preserved the New Testament.
This isn’t surprising, because Jesus Christ prophesied about this preservation of His Word in Mark 13:31: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
God preserved His Word for thousands of years so countless generations could read His love letter to the world.
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When my firstborn daughter moved to Japan, my heart was so sad. The child I had birthed, fed, clothed, nursed, educated, and prayed over now lived 6,976 miles away. Two continents and one very large ocean stood between us.
Thanks to technology, we communicated every day. No matter what, we talked, because we loved each other.
God loves His children, too, and He provided a way to span a communication gap much larger than two continents and an ocean—the glorious, humbling, mysterious, mountain-moving channel of prayer.
When I pray, I share my joy, fears, concerns, and needs. I talk to God and He, through the Holy Spirit and the Word, talks to me. The line is always open, and the acoustics stellar.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:12).
10. Christ’s Death
Many wise men have walked the earth. Learned teachers, philosophical sages, and moral leaders have attracted followers. But only Christ, the God-man, came to earth from heaven and offered Himself as a sacrifice on the cross for mankind’s sins.
He didn’t wait for us to straighten up our life. He didn’t require us to prove our worth. He simply demonstrated his love toward us by dying on a cruel Roman cross.
Romans 5:6-7 says it all: “For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
His death—for you and for me—proves His unlimited love.
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