Today I came across perhaps the most profound statement ever spoken: “‘I have loved you deeply,’ says the Lord” (Malachi 1:2). God’s chosen people did not deserve it. Neither do I.

The people’s response is unbelievable: “Really? How have you loved us?” What an increidble amount of chutzpah these people had to question God’s love for them! He had shown his love countless times throughout their history. How could they possibly doubt that he loved them?

The greatest commandments are to love God and our neighbor, but God loved us first, and our love is impossible without his (1 John 4:7). Thank God for loving us!

“I have loved you deeply.” I can’t get past that statement. I do not question it outright with my words, but do I question it in my attitudes or actions? Do I show a disbelief for his love by what I do or do not do? Do I question it by how I treat others? Do I question it by not acting in faith to his calling?

Even still … even though … even now — God says gently, “I have loved you deeply … and I always will.”

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Michael C. Mack founded in 1995 and served as a small-groups minister for more than 20 years in several churches. He is a writer, editor, trainer, and consultant in the areas of small groups, leadership, and discipleship. He is the author of more than 25 books and small group studies, including his latest, World's Greatest Small Group (pub. January, 2017). He regularly blogs on his ministry website at His family is a small group that includes his wife Heidi, their four children, and their dog, Lainey. Mike is also an avid mountain biker.