Do you know that right now, at this very moment, you are the object of God's love? You may not feel like it or even believe it, but He loves you with a pursuing, unrelenting, unconditional love.
The trouble is that His kind of love is foreign to us. That's because human love is object oriented: we see a cute girl or guy and say, "Oh, I like them," or we see a car and go, "I love that car." God's love is vastly different. It's not based on the worth, value, or beauty of an object, but on His character. In other words, God loves you not because you're so irresistible, but because He is God, and God is love.
The problem we run into when it comes to God's love is our perception and experience of that love. "I have loved you," God told His people in Malachi 1, but they only retorted, "In what way have You loved us?" (v. 2). Failure to believe in God's love was at the root of all of Israel's problems. I think it's perhaps at the root of all our problems, too.
Satan wants you to feel neglected and unloved by God. In your darkest hour, he'll come and say, "Look at you in your tough situation. God must not love you as much as He loves those other people, because He's answered their prayers, but not yours." And it's so easy to go, "Yeah, Devil, you're right."
This is why Jude wrote, "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" (1:21). Notice he didn't say, "Keep yourself in a state where God can love you" or "Keep yourself lovable before God," because you can't do that; God's love is unmerited. Rather, to keep yourself in the love of God means to stay in the sunshine of His love, feeling and enjoying its effects.
God loves you all the time, and His love is intense, but you can be in a place where you don't experience that love. It's like the sun: you can't stop it from shining, but you can keep its rays from hitting your skin. When it comes to God's love, you can put up an umbrella, so to speak, of all the stuff going on in your life, of sin or disbelief, so that you're kept from feeling its warmth.
So let me encourage you today to take away whatever's keeping the sun from getting to you. Don't allow anything to prohibit your enjoyment of the expression of God's love. As the Living Bible puts this verse, "Stay always within the boundaries where God's love can reach and bless you."
For a biblical example of this principle, compare Judas and John. Both were loved by Jesus Christ. But at the Last Supper, Judas got up from the table and sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. By unbelief and betrayal, he broke from keeping himself in the love of God. John, on the other hand, leaned his head against the breast of Jesus in order to get even closer to the Lord he loved. He kept himself in the love of God.
God loves you, but do you know it? Do you experience it? Do you walk in it? Or is it just an ethereal, abstract concept? He loves you. Keep yourself in a place where you're experiencing His love for you today.