How to Experience the Love of God

Apr 11, 2024


Watch the video to hear Rick’s full answer on how to experience the love of God

How can we experience the love of God? We may not always feel God loves us and our circumstances may not always show it. So what do we base our faith and understanding of God’s love toward us on? In this Charis Minute, Rick McFarland shares the practical and biblical way to experience the love of God at any time. 

bible college australia Charis instructor rick McFarland

Is it faith or feeling with experiencing God’s love?

It takes faith to believe in God’s love. So this doesn’t mean we can’t feel God’s love in our emotions. Many people want to feel and experience God’s love, but they’re looking for love in all the wrong places. Many are looking to their emotions to feel God’s love. And there’s times where, yeah, I feel loved because I feel loved. And there’s other times I don’t feel God at all. I don’t feel loved at all.

Can we ever experience God’s love for us as a feeling?

The feeling of God’s love is almost like a lightning strike. Whenever this encounter hits, it’s like, I can’t control it. It’s like I feel love one moment but I don’t feel it for most of the time. Every once in a while on a high in a church service, I may feel the love of God but there’s nothing there in that experience that I can at any time return to immediately when I want to experience His love through a feeling.

how to experience God's love when life is tough

Do my circumstances show me how much God loves me?

Many are trying to determine God’s love by their circumstances. When their circumstances are good they think, ‘God loves me’. When circumstances are bad they think, ‘I guess He doesn’t love me as much.’ If you’re considering how to experience God’s love and you base it on your circumstances you’re going to be up and down, up and down. You’re going to be a yo-yo. Don’t be a yo-yo.

God loves you because He is love, and He gives it freely to you. It’s unconditional There’s no borders and there’s no boundaries.


So how do I see how much God loves me?

If you want to see how much God loves you look at the cross of Jesus Christ. At any time you can focus on what Jesus did for you and experience His love. You need to put the testimony of Jesus dying on the cross for you in your heart like you were holding a magnifying lens between the sun and your heart. Read the Scriptures on Jesus going to the cross like the Father was speaking the words straight to your heart personally.

How to experience God's love from Scripture

The way to experience God’s love by using Scripture?

Let’s look at the Bible-way that you can determine and experience God’s love at any time. What’s the love of God tied to? It’s tied to the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. How do you know God’s love for you? You’re going to look to Jesus dying for you on the cross. If you want to experience God’s love, look to the cross. Don’t look to your circumstances. Don’t look to your emotions. Look to the cross. Romans 5:8 says,

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

How does God demonstrate His love for you today? While you were still a sinner, Christ died for you. First John 3:16 says,

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

The Greek word ‘know’ in this Scripture above means to know by experience. We can know experientially love because He laid down His life for us. First John 4:10 says,

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Propitiation means to appease wrath. The wrath of God was poured out fully on Jesus instead of us. And so when we look at what Jesus did for us at the cross that’s when we can know and experience the love of God. Let’s look at John 15:13,

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

So how can I practically, anytime I want to, experience the love of God? I need to focus on Jesus’ death for me. Do you know Jesus’ suffering on your behalf started in the Garden of Gethsemane? Where He sweat blood because He was so stressed from the fact that He knew that to take on sin and to become sin, He’d be separated from His Father, from eternity. And He did that. He made that decision for you. And then He allowed Himself to go through horrible suffering.

how to experience God's love by looking to the cross

Jesus going to the cross shows us how much God loves us

He was whipped with a cat of nine tails. It said that Jesus was taken early, early in the morning before the sun rose up. It was cold that morning. Scripture says Peter, the disciple, was warming his hands over a coal of fire while Jesus was being tried before the Sanhedrin. So it was cold that morning, and we know Jesus was crucified at nine in the morning. But before He was put to the cross, He was whipped with a cat of nine tails. His back was laid open, completely bare. Whipped to the point where most people would die through the experience. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced that your skin is much more sensitive when it’s cold and chilly. Well, He was whipped when it was chilly in the morning. He did that because He loves you.

They put a crown of thorns on His head and then took a reed and just beat those thorns into His head. They spat on Him. They ripped His beard out. They mocked Him. He did that for you because He loves you so much. And then He carried His own cross as far as He could until He couldn’t carry it anymore. And then that’s when they put spikes and drove it through His hands, through the flesh, into the wooden beam on the other side. Both hands, nails were driven into them. Our greatest nerves are right where the wrist is. What torture that would have to be to have nails driven through your hands there. And then nails were driven through His feet into that wooden post. And then He was hung by those nails and He hung there for six hours suffering. He did it for you.

When we focus on what He did for us we can experience His love.

Practical tips on how to experience God’s love.

So I’m going to get very practical. How can you experience God’s love today? Focus on what Jesus did for you and boast in His love. We need to verbally acknowledge God’s love for us. When we verbally speak we release our faith. Believing and acknowledging God’s love for us will strengthen and motivate our faith through the toughest tests. For example, say “I am the one who Jesus died for. I am the one who God loves”. Say that often and it will start impacting you at a heart level.

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