February 3 (Galatians 2:20)
So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (NLT)
For some people, experiencing the love of God is like reaching the conclusion of a logical syllogism that begins with John 3:16. God loves the world. I am part of the world. Therefore, God loves me. While this is certainly true, it is rather cold comfort. Replace God in that syllogism with the name of your friend or your spouse and you’ll see what I mean.
In this verse, however, Paul is completely open and honest about his own relationship with God. It is not based on logical reasoning but intimate interaction. He says it plainly. God loves him, Paul. As a result, he can live his life on earth trusting in Jesus.
In 1851 Herman Melville famously wrote to Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The reason the mass of men fear God, and at bottom dislike Him, is because they rather distrust His heart, and fancy Him all brain like a watch.” You can sing “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so,” all you like. You can convince others of your loving relationship with Him and may even trick yourself into believing it once in a while. The proof will be in whether and to what extent you live by trusting Him.
Jesus, as You well know, I am a great faker. I can convince just about everyone that I have a wonderful, Christian life. The fact of the matter is that I need to feel You. I need to sense Your love around me. If there is anything blocking the way, show it to me so I can confess it and release it to You. I want to be able to say what Paul said. I want to live by trusting You. Amen.