Whom does God love?

Over and over again the Bible teaches that God is loving. Christians believe that God loves everybody very much; he loves everybody, everywhere.

Christians believe God loves all the people in the whole world – all the people that have been born and all those that are to be born. Christians believe God doesn’t just love everybody as one group, he loves everybody individually; he knows everybody by name and he loves each and every person.

 
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The Bible teaches that God loves everybody, everywhere more than they could ever imagine; there is nobody that God does not love. There is nothing anybody can do that will make God love them less, or anything they can do to make God love them more.

 

Why do Christians believe God's love goes on forever?

The Bible teaches that God’s loving-kindness goes on forever and ever; it will never end; it will never run out.  

Christians believe that because God’s love goes on forever even when they are in Heaven God will keep on and on and on loving them without ever stopping.

 
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Sometimes people think that God will stop loving them if they are unkind or do something wrong – but the Bible says that isn’t true; God’s loving-kindness goes on forever; it never, ever stops. Sometimes people think that if something sad happens to them then God must have stopped loving them – but the Bible says that that isn’t true either; God’s loving-kindness goes on forever; it never, ever stops.

Why do Christians believe God's love is immeasurable?

We can measure all sorts of distances (even distances between planets!), but there are some things we cannot measure – Christians believe we cannot measure God’s love.

 
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Christians believe God’s love is so great it is immeasurable. The Bible teaches that God’s love is greater than we could ever imagine. In fact Christians believe that love actually comes from God. In one of John’s letters (which can be found in the New Testament part of the Bible) he wrote that God is Love because he cannot be separated from his love.

The Bible also teaches that God is abounding in love. ‘Abounding’ means that there is lots and lots of something - God has lots and lots of love. 

Christians believe there is nothing they can do that will make God love them less, and there is nothing they can do to make God love them more.

 

 

 

Why do Christians love God?

Why do Christians love God? Is it because of what he has done?... or who he is? The answer to both is ‘Yes’. But the Bible also teaches that Christians love God because of his great love for them - Christians love in response to God's love.  

Christians feel that because of God's love, not only do they love him more but they love other people more too. They believe God’s love changes them; it makes them more loving. The Bible teaches that Christians in fact love because God loved them first.

 
 

The Bible also teaches that Christians love God because of the work of the Holy Spirit. Christians believe the Holy Spirit has put God’s love in their hearts. The Bible tells us that when the Holy Spirit works in the lives of Christians he brings God’s love with Him. The word ‘heart’ can also mean ‘the centre’ or ‘right in the middle’. Putting God's love in people's hearts means the Holy Spirit brings God’s love right into the middle of Christians’ lives, right into the middle of everything they do.

Christians believe that when the Holy Spirit is at work in their lives, more and more they are able to love God and others. 

Why do Christians believe God is a loving God who is good, powerful and wise?

If you had something precious and needed someone to look after it, who would you ask? Someone who was often clumsy or forgetful, perhaps somebody who was unkind? No, you would find the kindest, most trustworthy and careful person that you could.

Christians believe God is all these things and much, much more.

 
God is good, powerful and wise
 

The Bible teaches that God loves everybody, everywhere more than they could ever imagine. 

However Christians believe that God not only loves everybody but he is good, powerful and wise.

The Bible teaches that God is fully good; there is no badness in him. God is all-powerful; there is nothing good and right he cannot do. God is completely wise; he knows everything there is to know and he always knows what is best for everyone and everything.

Believing these three things about God: he is fully good, he is all-powerful and he is completely wise, makes it wonderful for Christians to believe that God cares for everyone.

To help children remember the three words you could use the following actions. The Bible teaches that God is a loving God who is good (do a thumbs up sign), powerful (flex your arm muscles) and wise (place your fist against your forehead in a thinking-person pose).

 

Why do Christians say that God is great and that He has done great things?

Christians believe God is really, really, really great. They believe everything he does is fabulous and wonderful, there is nothing that God does that is just OK – everything he does is great! In fact Christians believe God has always been great and always will be. 

Christians believe that God does great things because he is great. Over and over again we read in the Bible about the things God did: he led the Israelites through the Red Sea and gave them water and food in the desert.

However, Christians believe the greatest thing God has done is to send Jesus to live with people.

 
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Jesus came to earth over 2000 years ago. He came to show what God is like, to teach people how to live and make a way for everybody, everywhere to become close friends with God. Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry and comforted the poor. Then he did the best thing of all. Jesus died on the cross and three days later God raised him back to life. 

Christians believe that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody, everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness, and become close friends with God.

When Jesus went back up to Heaven God sent the Holy Spirit down to live with people. Christians believe the Holy Spirit comes alongside to teach and guide. They believe that as the Holy Spirit works powerfully in their lives he changes them from the inside-out to become more and more like Jesus; to be more peaceful, patient and kind. As the Holy Spirit helps Christians become more like Jesus, more and more they are able to live God's way.

Christians believe that each day the Holy Spirit helps millions of people around the world become more and more like Jesus so they can learn and grow to live God’s way, the way God created them to live.

Why do Christians believe it is difficult to understand how truly great God is?

Christians believe it is hard to understand how really, really great God is and how truly wonderful it is that he sent his Son to live with people.

Scientists can explain a lot of things that are difficult to understand. However one thing that is difficult for even the cleverest people in the world to understand is how great God is.

 
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People often understand things by looking at the world around them and learning more and more about what they see. But the Bible teaches that God is greater than anybody or anything so it is difficult to imagine just how great he is.

Christians believe God's greatness is just too big to imagine!

 

Why do Christians believe God knows everything?

Christians believe God knows everything about everybody, even the things other people cannot see; he even knows what people are thinking.

 
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The Bible teaches that God knows all there is to know. In fact Christians believe that God knows more about people than they know about themselves. Talk about some of the things the children don’t know about themselves such as: what were their great, great-grandparents like? What will their job be when they are a grown-up? What presents will they get for their next birthday? Ask the children if they think God knows the answers to these questions.

Explain that Christians believe that because God knows everything about everybody and everything, he always knows what is best for each and every person.

How can Christians believe that God is good when sad things still happen?

Christians believe that God is fully good, he is all powerful and he is completely wise, but why then do sad and bad things still happen? This is something that people have thought about for many, many years and it’s a really good question.

 
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Christians often look at the story of Adam and Eve to find out why there is so much badness and sadness in the world.

The Bible teaches that when God made the world he made it perfect. In God’s perfect world he made a garden. In the garden he put two people, Adam and Eve. Every day God visited them. But one day Adam and Eve did something wrong – they disobeyed God. The Bible calls the wrong things people do ‘sin’. The sin crept into the lives of Adam and Eve and began to change them. That day sadness, pain and suffering crept into the world too. With sin in their lives Adam and Eve could no longer be close friends with God; the sin separated them from God. Christians believe that ever since then, there has been both goodness and sadness in our world.

Christians however believe there is some really great news. They believe that many years later, Jesus made a way for all people everywhere to become close friends with God once more. When Jesus went back up to Heaven the Holy Spirit came down to earth to be with people. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit can now be with people through the good times and the sad times giving them his peace, love and comfort. The Bible teaches that God has promised that one day, everyone who has said ‘Yes’ to his love and forgiveness will live with him in Heaven. In Heaven there will be no more pain and no more suffering.

What do Christians believe about God seeing everything?

Christians believe there isn’t anywhere they can go where God can’t look after them. The Bible teaches that God knows where everybody is and what they are doing all the time.

 
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Sometimes people can feel uncomfortable thinking that God sees and knows what they are doing, especially if they do something wrong or make a bad choice. However the Bible teaches that God is kind, loving and patient. Christians believe that God sees the wrong things they do but he is quick to forgive them as soon as they say they are sorry and he promises to keep on guiding them as they learn and grow to live his way.

What does the Bible teach about facing problems and going through difficult times?

Christians believe that God wants to help people with every single problem and trouble that they come across. The Bible teaches that God wants people to pray through their problems and trust him in their troubles.

 
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Christians believe that during troubled times God can work in people's lives in a wonderful way, helping them through the tough times and changing them into better times. Christians believe God wants people to pray for both his presence and his power when problems come their way. 

To pray for his presence means to pray that during troubled times they will feel God's closeness; they will know the comfort, guidance and help of the Holy Spirit and through their difficult times they will feel his great peace and love. To pray for his power means to ask God to work in their lives to change their tough times into better times.  

Christians also believe God doesn't just want them to pray but to trust him too. Trust that he will do what he says he will do; that he will never leave them on their own and that he will keep his promises during times of trouble.

What do Christians believe about giving their worries to God?

One way to describe a worry is a problem or trouble that someone keeps thinking about over and over again. It might be a small problem but because they think about it over and over again it begins to feel like a really, really big problem.

 
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The Bible teaches that when Jesus lived on earth he talked to people about their worries: ‘Don’t worry about your life’ he said: ‘Don’t worry about what you are going to eat or wear. Look at the birds. The birds don’t put seeds in the ground and wait for them to grow; they don’t buy barns and store the grain until they need it – but they always have food, because Father God feeds them’ (Matthew 6:26). Jesus asked the people a question: ‘Who is worth more, you or a bird?’ 

Christians believe that Jesus showed people that they didn’t need to worry. He asked people to think about the birds; to think about how God looks after them and then to think about how much more God cares about each one of them. Because Christians believe that God is good, powerful and wise they think it is truly wonderful that he cares for them. 

The Bible teaches that people can give their worries to God. Christians believe that one way to give their worries to God is to tell him about them. Below is a prayer that Christians might say when they are worried:

‘Father God we thank you that you are listening. The Bible tells us that we can give our worries to you. Right now we would like to tell you something we are worried about (leave a pause so that children can whisper or tell God in their heads what they are worried about). Thank you Lord that you love us more than we can ever imagine.  Not only do you want to give us your peace but you want to help us through difficult times. Holy Spirit we thank you that you come alongside us to help us and guide us. Thank you that you have promised to never leave us on our own.
Amen.’

Christians believe that telling God their worries doesn’t make their troubles disappear but by talking to God about them they can begin to pray about their problems and trust God in their troubles.

Explain that Christians believe that one way God takes care of people is by giving them friends and people around them whom they can talk to. There are some worries that we need to talk to a grown-up about. For example if somebody asks us to do something that makes us feel uncomfortable or we know is wrong then we should tell a grown-up who will listen.

Why do Christians believe that God is slow to anger?

Some people think God is cross and angry all the time, but Christians believe that is definitely not true. The Bible teaches that God is on people's side; he is patient and kind, he loves people and thinks they are great. The Bible teaches that God does not get angry quickly but is slow to get angry.

 
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The Bible does talk about times when God did get angry, but Christians believe it is really important that everybody everywhere understands that he is a loving heavenly Father who loves everybody everywhere very much.

Sometimes people do things that make God sad such as lying or hurting one another – these things make God sad because doing them is bad for people and those around them. The Bible teaches that when a person says sorry for the bad things they have done or the poor choices they have made God is quick to forgive them and will always help them carry on learning and growing to live his way.

 

 

How does God help people who are suffering?

The Bible teaches that in the beginning, when God created the earth, he gave mankind everything he needed to live his way and lead lives full of peace and joy. Today for many different reasons, there are thousands of people around the world who are suffering - who do not have everything they need. Some are lonely. Others are unwell. Some don’t have enough money. Others don't have freedom or safety. In some parts of the world people don’t even have clean water to drink.

Like many, many people, Christians find it difficult knowing that some people in the world have so much while others have so little. However Christians believe that God is compassionate. Compassionate means knowing that someone is suffering and wanting to do something about it. The Bible teaches that God knows that people are suffering and he wants to do something about their pain and sadness. In fact the Bible teaches that God longs to help and comfort people who are sad or living troubled lives.

 
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But how does God help and comfort people? Christians believe that their prayers and their actions are an important part of God working powerfully in the lives of people who are facing difficult times. 

Christians believe that just as God wants them to pray through their own problems and trust him in the midst of their own troubles he wants them to pray and trust him for others too. 

Christians believe God wants them to pray for people who are facing problems. They believe God wants them to ask him to work powerfully in the lives of people who are suffering, to change their tough times into better times. They believe God wants them to pray that during troubled times people will feel God's closeness; they will know the comfort, guidance and help of the Holy Spirit and through their difficult times they will feel his great love and peace.

Christians believe they can trust that God will  never leave people on their own and that he will keep his promises to people during times of trouble.

Finally Christians believe that God often asks them to carry out the care, love and support that people need. Christian organisations such asTearfund, The Trussell Trust, Street Pastors, Compassion and Christian Aid give tremendous help to people facing trouble. 

What do Christians mean when they say 'God is gracious'?

Christians believe that the best way to explain the word ‘gracious’ is to describe what God is like. The Bible teaches that God is mighty, strong and powerful, yet he is interested in everything people do, even the little things. Another way to think about God's graciousness is to think about God being greater than anything or anybody and yet showing his love and kindness to the smallest of things.

Christians believe that one way to try and imagine how mighty, strong and powerful God is, is to think about him as the creator of the universe.

 
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Hold up a ball about 30 cm in diameter. Explain that in this illustration the ball is going to represent the sun. Quickly tell three amazing facts about the sun:

  • The sun is extremely hot – the surface is 5500 degrees Celsius (cakes are usually baked  at around 170 degrees Celsius!).
  • Plants need sunlight to grow – it takes about eight minutes for light to travel from the sun to the earth.
  • The sun is much, much, much bigger then our planet earth – the diameter of the sun is about 109 times greater than the diameter of the earth.

To demonstrate the size of the sun, hold a peppercorn next to the ball. Explain that if you shrunk the earth and the sun down until the earth was the size of a peppercorn the sun would be about the size of the ball. Explain that the sun is a star and that there are millions of stars in the universe, some bigger, some smaller than the sun. In light of this illustration try to encourage the children to think about how big the universe is. Talk about how powerful and mighty Christians believe God is because they believe he made the universe.

Remind the children how this illustration relates back to the definition of God's graciousness:

Christians believe that God is greater than the universe (the illustration demonstrated that the universe is far bigger than we could ever imagine) and yet he shows kindness to people who are tiny in comparison with him - this is why Christians say ‘God is gracious’.

 

How can God be in Heaven and by our side at the same time?

The Bible teaches that God has promised not only to never leave people but to always be by their side. In fact the Bible teaches that God is both in Heaven and by people's side at the same time. 

Christians believe that this is possible because by his Holy Spirit God is everywhere all the time. Christians believe that when they go out God is with them, when they go on holiday he is there, when they are at home he is with them, when they go to somebody else’s house he is there. The Bible teaches that people cannot see God, but he is everywhere all the time.

 
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When we think about somebody being by our side we imagine them sitting or standing really close to us; we imagine that they know exactly what we are doing; we imagine them listening carefully to us, ready to hear what we want to tell them. Christians believe that every day God is by their side listening, speaking, comforting, guiding, giving them his peace and helping them do good for him.

Christians believe that knowing  God is a loving God who is good, powerful and wise, makes it wonderful to know that he is always with them; Christians believe it is wonderful to know that God is always by their side.

Does God always keep His promise?

Explain that trusting God means believing that what he says is true. Trusting God means believing that he will always keep his promises.

 
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There are hundreds of promises in the Bible. Christians believe that God always keeps his promise; he always does what he says he is going to do. Christians believe God only makes promises that he can and will keep.

Christians believe that if they make a promise that is good and right God will help them to keep their promise too.

 

Why do Christians say 'God is the living God'?

The Bible teaches that God is the living God.

 
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Christians use the word ‘living’ to describe God for many reasons; here are a few:

Christians believe...

  • God is real, he will go on living for ever and ever and ever.

  • God is full of life and power.

  • God doesn’t stand still doing nothing; he is active.

  • God is loving; he thinks and works.

  • People can trust God, he is the Creator and the Giver of life.

Christians believe God is not standing still doing nothing – he is living; he is busy doing things, listening, watching, loving, caring, giving, working, thinking and speaking.

What does the phrase 'loving-kindness' mean?

‘Loving-kindness’ means doing kind things because of love. The Bible teaches that God is good and he does kind things for people because he loves them.

Christians believe that God is watching over people and wants their lives to be full of good things. He longs for everybody everywhere to have kind friends, loving families and safe places where they can learn and grow. Christians believe God wants to provide people with all they need to live his way and to lead lives full of peace and joy. 

The Bible teaches that in his loving-kindness God has given people many wonderful things. 

 
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Christians are thankful for the many wonderful things God gives them. They are thankful for both things they can see and things they can’t see…

1. Christians believe God created the whole earth. They thank God for the things they see around them: their friends, their family, safe places, animals and flowers. They even thank God for ‘man-made’ things such as warm clothes and places to live, because these too are made from the natural materials God created. 

2. Christians believe God created the parts of nature they can’t see too such as the wind and the air. They also thank God for his Holy Spirit. They believe  the Holy Spirit is with them wherever they go. They thank the Holy Spirit for his comfort, guidance and help. They believe the Holy Spirit's presence brings great peace, love and joy. We can’t see any of these with our eyes, but Christians believe each one is a wonderful gift from God.

Christians not only thank God for his gifts but for the great things he does too.  

Over and over again we read in the Bible about the things God did: he led the Israelites through the Red Sea and gave them water and food in the desert. Christians believe God still does great things today. Christians believe that over and over again he works in people's lives changing their tough times into better times.

However Christians believe the greatest thing God has done is to send Jesus to live with people.

Jesus came to earth over 2,000 years ago. He came to show what God is like, to teach people how to live and make a way for everybody, everywhere to become close friends with God. Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry and comforted the poor. Then he did the best thing of all. Jesus died on the cross and three days later God raised him back to life.  Christians believe that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody, everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness and become close friends with him.

When Jesus went back up to Heaven God sent the Holy Spirit down to live with people. Christians believe the Holy Spirit comes alongside to teach and guide. They believe that as the Holy Spirit works powerfully in their lives he changes them from the inside-out to become more and more like Jesus; to be more peaceful, patient and kind. As the Holy Spirit helps Christians become more like Jesus, more and more they are able to live God's way, the way God created them to live.