One of the very many things that I will be eternally grateful to my parents for is the wonderful name OLUWANIFEMI given to me by them. Oluwanifemi is a Yoruba name which when translated to English means GOD LOVES ME. Somehow, I got the understanding at my tender age that my name is more than a means of identification but that of a great message from God telling me personally of His wonderful love for me and I keyed into it. By that name, God revealed His love for me even when I was too young to know Him or understand what His love entails, or have someone letting me know of the Bible stories telling of God’s love for humanity. Some of the narrations told me by my mother of all that happened to her while she carried me in her womb as well as other things that happened to me while I was still a young child that would have snuffed life out of me, but which I miraculously survived further affirmed that God really loves me. I know and I am convinced that God Loves Me.
One of the many incidents I can never forget where this knowledge saved me was when I had very bad kidney problem as a result of terrible measles’ attack when I was about 8 years old. I wasn’t taken to the hospital but was being treated with different herbal mixtures at home for weeks until things almost got out of control. Nearly, all the hairs on my head fell off remaining few strands that were thick and standing like grass. My whole body – from my head to toes was swollen due to serious retention of fluid (edema). I became bed ridden as I was very weak, unable to walk coupled with my eyes that were almost closing shut. I was a sorry sight to look at; I looked like an overblown balloon with difficulty breathing. When my mother eventually took me to the hospital, the medical personnel first rejected me on the ground that I was brought in too late and that I was as good as dead. However, when the white doctor saw the way my mother and I wept profusely, he had compassion on us and decided to just admit me for admission sake since there was still life in me. I remembered telling my mother not to cry anytime I saw her crying that I knew God would not allow me to die because He loves me. To the amazement of all and to the glory of God I recovered very fast.
My embracing God’s gracious salvation through faith in His only begotten son Jesus Christ in 1972 and reading and studying His Holy Scripture gave me an in-depth understanding of His great love for me as an individual. From the Bible, I learned that I am His beloved child, His chosen one, His peculiar treasure, His delight, the apple of His eyes and much more. I also learn that His love for me is unconditional, eternal, sure, true, unfailing, unchanging, unfathomable and cannot be compared to any type of love be it love of earthly parents, friends or lover. What a great privilege and honor to be loved by God, the Creator, and Possessor of heaven and the earth. Merely thinking of the fact that I am the object of His love and affection, one He has set his heart on in love is something that intoxicates me. It is something I am eternally glad and grateful to God for. My favorite verses of the Scripture on His love for me are;
“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: Therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3,
“Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” Isaiah 43:4.
The fact that God loves me is a reality I carry about with me everywhere I go. “God loves me” is a phrase that the Holy Spirit has used to minister hope to me through the thick and thin of life. I am an individual that have experienced sore troubles in life, I have faced betrayal, been jilted by a lover, and desertion, failure, frustration and disappointments and have been plagued with terrible infirmities that many did not survive but which I had miraculously survived by God’s Grace. I have experienced astounding Miracles of God in my life and family, many which I testified of in the churches I attended. I discovered over time that no matter what I am passing through, once I am able to recollect and reflect on the fact that God loves me, I get revived and energized. The more I dwell on the thoughts of His love for me, the more confidence and peace of mind that is beyond human understanding I get in my turbulent times. Dwelling/basking in God loves is something that has lifted my spirit and makes me fearless and courageous.
GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW AND BELIEVE THAT HE LOVES YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL
This write up is not about me at all, it is about God who is Love and His sure, great immeasurable love for each one of His creation especially the Christian believers, John 3:16.
It is pathetic that though many in Christendom profess being loved by God with their lips, yet they don’t possess the knowledge of what God’s love for them entails or believe in God’s love for them as individuals. As a result of this, many have not been able to reciprocate His love by loving Him too, neither could they trust, rely, be faithful, committed and dedicated to Him as expected of them. They have also missed out of all the beautiful experiences and blessings of knowing and believing God’s love as individuals.
The simple truth each and every child of God (the believers of Christ Jesus) should know and believe deep down their heart is that God loves him or her truly, uniquely and eternally as He loves Jesus Christ His only begotten son. God’s love for Jesus Christ is the standard of His love for each one of us and also a standard of our love for Him because we are His adopted children. God’s love for us is so sure to the extent that there is nothing another person, even one’s own self could do to make God love us less. God’s love for each child of His preceded when we were formed in our mother’s womb and it not based on any good thing that we have done as individuals but simply of His grace wherewith, He has chosen in Jesus Christ to love us, 1 Peter 2: 4, 9. Being loved by God and called His sons is the highest honor bestowed on us, 1 John 3:1
It is important to know and believe that God loves you so much as an individual and that you belong to Him. This is because what you believe works for you. He knows everything about you and has wonderful plans for you, Jeremiah 29:11. God relays His love for each of us as individuals in all He has created and freely given to us to enjoy. His love is revealed in all our Lord Jesus Christ went through in our place to grant us salvation such as leaving His throne of glory in heaven to earth and be borne of a woman. He suffered mockery and shame, flogging and abuse, crucifixion and death on the cross of Calvary. No greater love than this has anyone else for us, John 15:3. His love for us is new every morning, Lamentation 3:22-23. All activities we do daily such as our daily waking to life, uprising, strength, walking, talking, eating, sleeping, thinking and others are all proofs of His loving grace we have through Jesus who strengthens. All the numerous good things of life given to us such as water, sunlight, rain, fresh air, peace, love, power, and vitality to enjoy are all proofs of His love and mercies and not because we deserve them. If not for His love that protects, delivers, guides, keeps and heals us from our infirmities, we would have been consumed by the enemies of our lives, Lamentations 3:22-23. The gift of His abiding presence in the person of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts are also evidence of His love. God tells us many wonderful things about His great love for each of us in His Holy Book among which is; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
God’s love for each of us is unconditional, true and real and strong and nothing can separate us from His love, Romans 8: 35-39.
35)”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulations, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …
37) Nay, in all these we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
GOD LOVES YOU.
To be continued on next post….