I believe the gospel of Jesus is simple. “God is love.” (1 John 4:8).
“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19)
When we know His love, we can love Him with “all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And we can also love others in the same way. (Mark 12:30)
Jesus was the perfect representation of Gods love, the true revelation. He lived, died and rose to give us full access to love—beholding and becoming. And He showed us what a life looked like when it was lived sure in love.
The Christian life is the transformative journey of a son or daughter growing sure in Gods love – that we might become like Him.
Here are four signs you are growing sure in Gods love.
1 - You Are Not Easily Offended
While hanging between heaven and earth, naked, bloodied, broken and mocked; while oppressed by the weight of humanity’s sin, our sin, Jesus revealed the power of Love – “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Love is hard to offend. “…It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Cor 13:5
Jesus was the perfect expression of forgiveness and when we receive our forgiveness, we are set free and empowered to forgive those around us.
As you are growing sure in Gods love, you will discover you’re not easily offended, either by wrongs done to you or people lost in their sin. Instead you will be filled with compassion, you will find mercy and grace are close to hand and forgiveness has become a way of life.
2 - You Are Not A Realist
Lets call realism what it is, socially accepted pessimism. There are only two choices for a Christian, believe or don’t.
While realism can often appear to be practical, respectable, and wise, it’s simply unbelief. A realist would see a blind man and say, “he can’t see,” end of story. But when Jesus (love perfectly revealed) came to earth, the blind saw, the lame walked, the deaf heard, Lazarus died twice, and Jesus told death, “Thanks, but no!”
Jesus was an eternal optimist, a believer. Jesus revealed that love has an answer to every issue humanity faces. True biblical faith believes with hope when the evidence is yet unseen. (Heb 11:1)
As you are growing sure in Gods love, you will find you are choosing to believe even when everything in life suggests otherwise. “Optimists” also known as "Believers" choose to believe love is always good and live for the greater revelation. Its called faith.
3 - You See People As Who They Can Become In Christ
Jesus called Peter a rock upon which He would build His Church. This was before Peter denied he knew Jesus. (Matt 16:18)
Jesus saw a generous man in Zacchaeus and treated him as though he were already living generous. This perspective released grace until Zacchaeus agreed with how Jesus saw him and became generous. (Luke 19:1-10)
Jesus forgave an adulterer and then told her to “go and sin no more.” Essentially, He saw her as forgiven and transformed and spoke that identity over her. She was no longer an adulterer. (John 8:11)
As you are growing sure in Gods love, you will begin to see and treat people as who they can become in Christ. This will release grace for them to discover the “Kindness that leads to a repentance” – a changed or renewed mind. (Rom 2:4) This perspective releases the invitation to be transformed through the discovery of His love.
4 - Even In Hard Seasons You Look On The Future With Hope
When Jesus, love in human form, faced the cross, He did so “for the joy set before Him”(Heb 12:2). Even in the darkest and most hopeless moment in history, Jesus pointed to a future joy. His eyes were set on salvation and all it meant - a future where we could live sure in love just as He had.
We are now living in the future Jesus set before Him and purchased for us. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3) In salvation is the promise of resurrection life, abundant joy and sustaining hope.
As you are growing sure in Gods love you, will begin to see the future as full of promise. Even in the hard times you will discover biblical hope - the confident expectation of His goodness and resurrection life being established in your life.
It’s impossible not to be hopeful about the future when you are growing sure in love.
Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Prone To Love is available now.