Is there a list of the best scriptural proofs of God’s love for us? In my life’s experiences I can not see any firm evidence of any special love for us humans. There is far more evidence of a complete lack of interest if you consider all the many tragedies that have occurred to devout believers throughout history. It is so easy to succumb to the fallacy of wishful thinking when something good happens, to attribute it to God. My family and devout relatives all do this. They seem to ignore all the bad things that surround them every day.
The Crucifixion is pretty strong. Christ went through his passion and all the suffering with it for us.
Genesis 1 is also neat. When we compare to other Near East creation stories where the gods make humans out of strife and for the purpose of being slaves, Genesis’ God creates humans out of love, gives man the garden, and the first thing He does is have man rest with Him.
The Prodigal Son is also a great parable. The son left for so long and did sinful things, but when the father (God) sees him return, he comes running and celebrates that the son has returned. He’s just happy that the son is back. The sins of the last are forgiven.
In that vein, the lost sheep is also a good one because the shepherd leaves the 99 to find the 1.
Yep, if a person with a completely human nature can suffer and die for us, in the most horrific manner, And then rise to defeat satan and sin, for us,
What more proof does one need of love.
This is my pick
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel
was sent from God
unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
to a virgin
espoused to a man
whose name was Joseph,
of the house of David;
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
The Crucifixion is probably the strongest evidence.
The entire OT is also pretty strong evidence. He’d have to love us to keep giving Israel more and more chances, despite the fact that they betrayed Him every single time…
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”
All of Scripture is the love story; not of man seeking a relationship God, but of God seeking a relationship with man.
There is a book called Bible Basics for Catholics by John Bergsma that does a great job of unpacking the overall message of God’s love woven throughout scripture. It is a quick easy read, yet has a profound message.
Throughout the OT, we see God creating the world and giving it to mankind. He has a covenant with a man, then with a family, then with a tribe, a nation, etc…
No matter how many times mankind has failed to uphold the covenants and no matter how many times mankind rejected God, He always not only renewed the covenant, but also extended it to more people until He sent us His only begotten Son; God became man so that men could become God:
CCC 460 The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”:”For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”
With this new and eternal covenant, God shares with us His desire to have a relationship with all of humanity and a desire for us to share His love with each other.
God became man:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God;
3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."
35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples;
36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
He teaches us about His love for us and commands us to share it. Out of His love for us, He lays down His life for us so that we may all share in eternal life:
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father."
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
And His Apostles echo this message of God’s love:
1 John 4:4-21
4 Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5 They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them.
6 We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit.
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16 So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
17 In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.
19 We love, because he first loved us.
20 If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
21 And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.
Sometimes it is hard to see God’s love in the midst of tragedy and misfortune, but we must try to see God in these situations:
1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him.
4 We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
While we are alive in this world, we must bring the light of Christ and the love of God to the rest of the world. When we see tragedy and misfortune, it is us, the Body of Christ, that continues to spread God’s love to others.
We must pass on the mercy and love of God to all those we encounter. God only allows suffering to transpire in this life because He knows He can bring about a greater manifestation of His love through it.
For example, consider why God would let Adam and Eve fall if He loved them? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just stop them from ever falling?
Because love is not forced upon someone; one must freely will to love another. By not forcing Adam and Eve to comply with His will, He lovingly gave them not only the freedom to choose or reject Him, but also allowed for Him to greater manifest and demonstrate His love for them and all of mankind through the Incarnation and the Eucharist.
It is only through the fall of Adam and Eve that the true beauty of the Immaculate Conception, the Incarnation, the Passion, Crucifixion, and the Resurrection can be seen.
The Church and the Sacraments seek to spread God’s message of hope, love, and mercy to all the world. Whenever tragedy, suffering, sadness, or hurt manifest within the world, we as followers of Christ have an opportunity and a responsibility to choose God, to choose to love, to choose to be compassionate, and to choose to be a light to the rest of the world.
It is in our loving response and the loving responses of others to the adversities present in this life that we have the greatest opportunity to both share the love of God with the world, and to experience that love for ourselves.
I think that the problem lies in what we expect from God.
It is not about tit for tat–the world was set on its course at Creation; for if God were to interfere by giving people “special” attention/gifts would people Believe in God or as those who followed Jesus and ran to Him with the ole ‘master, we looked for you and could not find you anywhere…’ to which Jesus replies:
26 …Amen, amen I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you. For him hath God, the Father, sealed. (St. John 6)
…as for rewards:
19 Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. 20 But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal. 21 For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also. (St. Matthew 6)
So we thank God when good things happen (St. James 1:17) but we do not expect that God will resolve our life’s issues for us as a sign that He Loves and Cares for us:
7 And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. 8 For which thing thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful. (2 Corinthians 12)
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