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Plucking petals from a daisy was a great game for us preteens, and it probably is still today. How great it is that we don’t have to wonder if God loves us or loves us not. We can always count on His love.

Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair

He loves me …

As a young teen, I liked boys. We called them crushes. My friends and I often stopped to pick a wild daisy and pull its petals off, one by one, while repeating, “He loves me, he loves me not.” If the last petal we pulled came off with a “He loves me,” it meant we would marry that boy. A silly game that no doubt is still played by preteen girls.

We can love in three different ways. The word eros speaks of physical love and the word phileo refers to love of friends. The word agape (ah-GAH-pay) is of a love that comes from God. Jesus, in His teachings, and Paul and other New Testament authors, speak often of agape love. Perhaps the most familiar verse is that in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

How wonderful to know that we don’t have to worry if God loves or loves us not, as with daisy petals. We don’t have to wonder if He withholds His love because we’re too ugly or shy, too afraid or too mean, too poor or lacking in education or physical strength. Or too sinful.

Jesus spoke about the Father’s love often. He said, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love. … This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:9, 12) Trusting in His love and obeying His Word can only draw us to love Him in return. And in turn we can love all others not only as friends—with phileo love—but with agape love that comes only from God. Likewise, we even can love our enemies. In fact, Jesus commanded it. “I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45) We cannot love our enemies with any love except that which comes from God.

Lord, thank You for Your great love that is everlasting. Thank You for the freedom in knowing we don’t have to fear that You will love us not, like the daisy petals. Cause us to trust You and obey You, to be so filled with Your love that we are compelled and eager to love all others, even those who hate us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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