Have you ever considered how much God loves you? It is an awesome thing to think about. I don’t think our finite minds have the capacity, on our own, to completely understand the length and width and height and depth of God’s love for us.
I read this incredible story in a commentary written by John MacArthur.(1)
The story told of an incident that occurred during Oliver Cromwell’s reign as Lord Protector of England.
A young soldier was scheduled to be executed. The girl to whom he was engaged pleaded with Cromwell to spare the life of her beloved, but Cromwell was resistant to her request. The young man was to be executed when the curfew bell sounded. However, when the sexton repeatedly pulled the rope to signal the execution the bell made no sound.
The soldier’s fiancé had climbed into the belfry and wrapped herself around the clapper so that it could not strike the bell. Her body was smashed and bruised, but she did not let go until the clapper stopped swinging. She managed to climb down, bruised and bleeding, to meet those gathered to witness the execution. When she explained what she had done, Cromwell commuted the sentence.
A poet beautifully recorded the story as follows:
“At his feet she told her story,
showed her hands all bruised and torn,
And her sweet young face still haggard
with the anguish it had worn,
Touched his heart with sudden pity,
lit his eyes with misty light.
‘Go, your lover lives,’ said Cromwell;
‘Curfew will not ring tonight.’ ”
God loves us. His body still bears the scars from His suffering so we would not die. God wants us to believe that and allow His love to change us. As we become increasingly aware of God's love for us, we can then stand strong in the truth of that LOVE.
The truth is that:
- there is nothing we can do to cause God to love us more, and
- there is nothing we can do to cause God to love us less.
- God doesn't love us because of what we do.
- God loves us because of who God is.
When we know that God loves us that much, we can never give up on ourselves. And guess what else happens? Our prayers change.
We pray big prayers.
We pray specific prayers.
We believe in a God who says, "All things are possible with me."
My prayer for you and me is that we KNOW how much God loves us. I pray that we will be rooted and established in the Love of God (Ephesians 3: 14-21). I pray that we may gain a deeper, more rooted understanding of that love every day and that we will be filled to overflowing with that love.
Join us on Sunday as we look at Part 2 of Praying Like Paul. You won't want to miss it. Please invite a friend!
1. John F. MacArthur, 1 Corinthians MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Moody Publishers, 1984, p. 353.