**(From A.W.O.L. Christians, written before the death of Osama bin Laden)**
"... God is many things, but His character is most clearly defined by the disciple “whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23) in the statement he reiterated twice in the fourth chapter of I John, “God is love.”
You see God cannot hate one of his creations, “For everything God created is good” (I Timothy 4:4, NIV). So since each one of us was created by the Almighty God of heaven, He loves us. And not only that, He loves each of us equally.
Wow, that’s hard to fathom isn’t it? God loves me the same as He loves Mother Teresa, or Osama bin Ladin? When you think about the latter you are probably a bit upset. He loves a murdering terrorist as much as me? But it is sobering to take the other extreme. You mean He loves little old “ordinary” me as much as someone so loving and self-sacrificing as Mother Teresa?
Do you want a real eye opener? Check Jesus own words in John 17 as he prays for all believers, “…that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17:23, emphasis added). God loves us as He loved Jesus! You may be thinking that Jesus meant that only for his disciples, but check it out! His prayer in that portion of John 17 is for all believers!
You may need to catch your breath after that revelation. The point is very clear in scripture that God loves every human being on this planet. As Peter stated in Acts 10:34, “Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons” (TAB). This means that God does not love preachers more than bankers, or prophets more than teachers, or evangelists more than car salesmen, or even believers more than non-believers. He loves equally.
It is up to us to experience that love that God has for us. Scripture tells us to, “Draw near to God and [then] He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). We must be in covenant with God to experience the benefits and the mercy and grace that are the consequences of His love. As Dr. Charles Stanley puts it, “It is God’s nature to love both saint and sinner…The unbeliever has simply positioned himself in such a way that he cannot experience that love – a situation that can be remedied by trusting Jesus as Savior.” Osama bin Laden could experience the same love of God that is available to you and I if only he would repent of his past and embrace Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. Most of us don’t expect that to happen, but this is the story of how we all received our salvation, and it is how thousands of upon thousands become children of God each and every year."