It’s time to discover the beautiful truth of how God thinks about you. God doesn’t just tolerate you; He loves you fiercely, and His thoughts toward you are full of grace and mercy.
Understanding this truth changes everything, my friend!
So today, author Lisa Bevere shines a spotlight on God’s audacious love for you. And when you get a glimpse of His love, it will give you a boost of confidence grounded in your identity and your relationship with Him.
As we talk about Lisa’s book, Fiercely Loved: God’s Wild Thoughts About You, Lisa explains how you are not only loved, but you are welcomed, you are wanted, you were always His idea, and He has a plan for you.
Isn’t this encouraging?
God is love, meaning it’s not just something He does—it’s who He is. And when He lives in you, His love is something you can experience intimately in your day-to-day life. You can live loved!
Get ready for some truth bombs in this conversation that will shift your perspective and help you see God for who He really is—not just for what He does.
Lisa Bevere has spent over 30 years empowering women to find their identity and purpose. She is a New York Times bestselling author and internationally known minister. Her books, which include Without Rival, Girls with Swords, Strong, and her recent devotional Fiercely Loved, are in the hands of millions worldwide. Lisa and her husband, John, co-founded Messenger International which has given away nearly 50 million resources in 116 languages.
[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]
Books & Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
More from Lisa Bevere
- Can I Be a Strong Woman Who Strengthens Others? With Lisa Bevere [Episode 134]
- Visit Lisa’s website
- Fiercely Loved: God’s Wild Thoughts About You
- MessengerX App
- Follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Related Blog Posts
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- Can I Accept That God Loves This Hot Mess? With Jo Dee Messina [Part 2] [Episode 160]
- Can I Believe God Accepts Me No Matter What? [Episode 14]
- Can I Keep My Past From Determining My Future? With Tony Evans [Episode 140]
- Can I Be a Doer and Still Rest in God’s Presence? With Katie M. Reid [Episode 201]
- Can I Stop Striving and Accept Grace Instead? With Ruth Chou Simons [Episode 194]
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4:13 Podcast: Can I Live Loved? With Lisa Bevere [Episode 240]
Lisa Bevere: Most people feel fiercely judged. Not fiercely loved; fiercely judged. And I find that God's love for us actually is a very fierce, protective love.
Jennifer Rothschild: It's time to discover the beautiful truth of what God thinks about you. God doesn't just tolerate you; he loves you. And he wants you to know that his wild thoughts towards you are full of grace and full of mercy.
Today, author Lisa Bevere will help shift your perspective as she shines a spotlight on God's audacious love for you. When you get a glimpse of his love, it will give you a boost of confidence grounded in your identity and in your relationship with him. You are fiercely loved, my friend. You are well thought of and deeply wanted. So what are we waiting for? K.C., let's do this.
K.C. Wright: Let's go. Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can truly do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Now, your host, my soul sister, Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: Hey there. Welcome back to the 4:13 Podcast. Thanks for being part of our 4:13 family. I'm Jennifer, here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live, along with me and K.C., this "I Can" life. And if you're new to us, that was K.C. Wright. He's my seeing eye guy. It's just two friends, one topic, and zero stress on the 4:13 Podcast.
And K.C. and I were both very excited, before we turned on the mics, because we know what you are about to experience. Lisa Bevere is one of our favorite people.
K.C. Wright: Yes. Hands down.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, she just delivers with such passion, with such -- I'm telling you, you're going to love this conversation. And when I got done with it, I was like, Lord, help me to be more mindful of your presence, that you are really with me, that you are for me. Because, K.C., if we really pay attention to the presence of God, that he is really with us, then we experience his love, we're able to live that love, give that love. But lots of times we just don't even clue in that God is really right here with us.
K.C. Wright: Yeah. Well, the Bible says -- we're basing our eternity on what the Bible says. We believe it from Genesis to the maps. And he says where two or more are gathered, there he is in the midst of us.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
K.C. Wright: And he never shows up empty handed.
Jennifer Rothschild: Never.
K.C. Wright: He always has something to give.
And I was getting frustrated a couple Sundays ago at my little church. And just inside I was frustrated.
Jennifer Rothschild: Sure.
K.C. Wright: But I was watching more people observe worship than participate in worship. And when you come to church, you're not only bringing the offering of -- well, your financial offering, but you're bringing the offering of praise.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's right.
K.C. Wright: You're bringing something, right?
And so I got up and I said, "Do we really believe that the Lord is here?" I said, "What if we had a chair, and it was sitting right here on this stage and it said 'Reserved'? And the King of Kings, do you see him? He just walked in the front door and he's walking down the aisle of the church. And now he's coming and he's sitting in this seat that's been reserved for him. How would you really worship him?" I mean, if the president came in, or some, you know, popular movie star or something, how would we all stand and applaud?
Jennifer Rothschild: Right. We'd be different.
K.C. Wright: But the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Well, anyway, I'm giving this illustration, and this man went and grabbed a chair from our connect center in the back of the church. It was just this really cool black chair. And he did it, he went and got the chair and he placed it on the stage. And I said, "Do you see him now? Do you see the King? Now, let's worship him like he's really here, because he's really here."
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.
K.C. Wright: He's really here.
Jennifer Rothschild: That gives me chills.
K.C. Wright: And I'm telling you, worship went to another level. You had to be there. I hope I --
Jennifer Rothschild: It changed everything.
K.C. Wright: It changed everything. And when you have Jesus, you have everything, and in his presence is the fullness of joy. And. you know, he's the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Another word for Judah is "praise." He's the Lion of the Tribe of Praise.
Jennifer Rothschild: Man, that's good, K.C.
K.C. Wright: Anyway, he's with us, yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I love that you -- especially that that man even just took the prerogative --
K.C. Wright: I know.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- to put a chair on the stage. But what a tangible reminder he really is that present with us.
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: And to open the eyes of our heart to see the reality of his presence, it changes things. And what you're about to hear with Lisa is she's talking about the nature of God is love. Like, he doesn't just choose to love you; he is love. Right?
K.C. Wright: Right, right.
Jennifer Rothschild: So if you really recognize that he -- love himself is right there with you, then you cannot help but be changed by that love.
So I think we need to get to this conversation. Let's introduce Lisa Bevere.
K.C. Wright: Lisa Bevere has spent over 30 years empowering women to find their identity and purpose. She is a New York Times bestselling author and an internationally known minister. Her books, which include "Without Rival," "Girls With Swords," "Strong," and her recent devotional "Fiercely Loved" are now in the hands of millions worldwide. Lisa and her husband, John, co-founded Messenger International, which has given away nearly 50 million resources in 116 languages.
Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.
K.C. Wright: Now, are you ready for this?
Jennifer Rothschild: We are ready.
K.C. Wright: Settle in --
Jennifer Rothschild: Do it.
K.C. Wright: -- and enjoy this powerful conversation between Lisa and Jennifer.
Jennifer Rothschild: Lisa, I am so happy to have you back on the podcast. Your episode on strong women strengthening others was such a great episode, and I know this is going to be another one of our favorites.
So let's start with your book title. Okay? Because the book title is "Fiercely Loved." And when we think of love, we often think of it being soft and tender, you know, flowers and hearts. But I love this interesting combination of words. So tell us first off why you describe God's love as fierce.
Lisa Bevere: Well, I love that you're letting me position that as -- just right out the gate. First of all, most people feel fiercely judged. Not fiercely loved; fiercely judged. And I find that God's love for us actually is a very fierce, protective love. And we think about fierce -- I love that you said, oh, we usually think soft and -- you know. But here's the thing. You know, I am a Sicilian grandmother. And if anybody came after any of my grandchildren, I would be so fierce in my response to protect them, to provide for them, to rescue them. And I find that God loves us so much that he goes after the things that unmake us and he loves us into who he has made us. So it's a fierce constant. You know, it's that love that is a fiery love and a love that is comforting. It's all of it together.
And God is such an amazing breadth and length and -- like, we don't even understand how he is love. Like, I have love for my husband, but I am not love for him. I'm in love with him, but -- yeah, there's a big difference. God is love. He doesn't have it; he is it.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, you wrote that. In fact, that's what I was going to ask you, because you write that at the beginning of the book. You say God doesn't have love for you; he is love for you. Okay? And I love that differentiation. So explain how that is and how it shows up.
Lisa Bevere: Yeah. So you could be in love with someone and then fall out of love with them. But if you are love for someone -- see, it's this beautiful declaration of God where he says, I have, past tense, I have loved you. Not with an emotional love, but with an everlasting love, a love that had no beginning, has no end. And he said, "And I have drawn you with lovingkindness." So God has this love that he loved you and I.
You know, I kind of feel like -- well, to be honest with you, Jennifer, I've never met you, but I kind of feel like you're way nicer than me in real life. I mean, I can kind of look at me and think, wow, God loved me when I was an enemy. Like, he loved me. When I was an enemy of the cross, an enemy of everything he stands for, he loved me.
Now, that wasn't an endorsement of I love what she's doing, it was like, this girl right now, she's in crazy town; but I love her so much that I'm going to bring truth to her and I'm going to let her know that those things that she's pursuing right now are empty and void of what she hopes to find. And when we pursue things that actually unmake us -- and that's, you know, really -- there's this beautiful contradiction and invitation in the Book of Isaiah Chapter 2. It says God will show us the way he works so that we can live the way we were made. And the way God works is he loves us when we're yet enemies so that he can grow us into the likeness of our real name. Not the names we've been called or who you've been in the past, but who we are becoming in Christ.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's so good, Lisa. And it's so beautiful and, you know, it paints a beautiful picture of God, because it's like his essence is love. So it's not like he chooses, oh, I think I'll love her; I don't think I'll love him. He cannot -- though I hate to put that word associated with God. But it is if his essence is love, that he cannot help but love. I mean, that's who he is. It's not just what he does; it's who he is. And that's such a beautiful picture that we often misunderstand. And so I have already picked up with you, your whole thing here, right here, is to help people change the way they think about how God thinks about them.
So I am curious, in your experience what do you think some of the wrong thoughts we have about God are and what his view of us is?
Lisa Bevere: Well, I think that -- okay. I got born again knowing nothing. Nothing. I thought cleanliness is next to godliness, which is Scripture. Like, I remember -- I had just gotten born again, I said, "I do know one Scripture." And John said, "Well, what is it?" I said, "Cleanliness is next to godliness." He's like, "That actually isn't a Scripture." So the one thing I thought I knew, I didn't even know.
But here's what happened. What I experienced, Jennifer, was the love of God, the mercy of God. And I just was like, I know what I deserve. I deserve judgment and I am getting mercy. Mercy is when we don't get what we deserve. So I had such an overwhelming receptivity to the love of God. But you know what the enemy does. He was like, Oh, yeah, God loved you so that you would get born again, but now you're going to have to work really hard to keep that love. Oh, he's so disappointed with you. Oh, he saw how you just answered that person on Instagram, or he saw how you just snapped on your husband. He's always keeping a record of wrongs. That's what the enemy says. But my Bible says if God kept a record of wrongs, who would stand?
Jennifer Rothschild: Who could stand? Yeah.
Lisa Bevere: Not Lisa.
Jennifer Rothschild: Not Jennifer.
Lisa Bevere: Yeah. So I see this God who is love, and he is not on the sidelines of my life waiting for a reason to discount or disown me. And too many people realize that they get the gift of salvation, the gift of repentance, and then they think now I have to earn it to keep it. Well, I have never had a grandchild come to me, after they get a Christmas gift, in April and say, "Now, what do I need to do to keep getting this, having this?" And so we get confused and we're supposed to do it with him.
And, you know, I said something on Instagram recently, and maybe this will also help kind of expose that lie. So again, being an exceptional heathen, getting radically saved, getting called into the privilege of ministry way before it was cool. I mean, like, it was not cool. Like, I've been in the ministry for almost 40 years now. And I remember, Jennifer, people were praying prayers like, "God, I want you to use me. Use me to preach the Gospel." Use me to do this, use me to do that. And I thought, yes, I'm going to start praying like that. That's what Godly cool people pray. And so I start praying, "God, use me, use me, use me."
Then one day -- and I don't know if he does this with you -- he lets me kind of go on my tangents for a while and then he kind of interrupts. And I had such a sense the Holy Spirit said, "Lisa, have you ever been used by a friend?" And I thought, I have. He said, "How did that feel?" I felt betrayed. I felt embarrassed. I thought we had a relationship. He said, "Have you ever been used by a boyfriend?" I'm like, "Wait. You're supposed to forget that." And he said again, "How did you feel?" I said, "Shamed." And he said, "I don't want to just use you. I want you to know me." And I think too many act like they're doing some big thing for God. And we see this play out, "Lord, Lord we prophesied in your name, Lord, we did this in your name, we did this in your name," and he's like, "Yeah, but I never knew you."
And I think we forget that God is first and foremost a father. He is not a ministry director. He is a father. And everything that I could possibly do in his name needs to flow out of an intimate relationship with the living God. And Jesus is the one that came. He said we're going to deal with this veil. Where you think that God is judging, angry, shaming, I'm going to deal with this. I'm going to be your righteousness and I'm going to make a way, Lisa. But it's so crazy. We know that Jesus is The Way, but then we think we have to be the way.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Lisa Bevere: I don't know if that makes sense.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, it does. Well, it's like we have been given so much and then we start to try to earn it. And what you're describing is the essence of the Gospel. And so when you really look at it, our need for the Gospel, like, it is our most urgent, biggest forever need. And so as I'm hearing you describe this, you're really describing the essence of the Gospel. So tell me how the Gospel itself is interwoven with this concept of being fiercely loved.
Lisa Bevere: Well, I mean, it's just it, it's a rescue. I mean, we were rescued from a life alienated from the love of God. And God was like, okay, I love them so much that I am going to send my only begotten Son to bring them back to me. We see it foreshadowed in the Old Testament. Whenever I'm asking people what did God bring the children of Israel out of Egypt for, they always say, oh, he brought them out to bring them to the Promised Land. But the truth, he brought them out to bring them to himself first. And we have gotten so busy about, oh, I'm going to go to heaven when I die, and we forget our Heavenly Father, who's the one that made provision for that.
So it's like the same pattern. Why would you want the Promised Land without ever meeting the Promiser? And I feel like right now, why are we thinking about heaven without our Heavenly Father? And so I wanted people to know that God's love for them was stronger than death. I mean, that sounds crazy, like, what, love and death? There is this incredible thing, but we should know that because his love for us conquered death.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Lisa Bevere: So he has this love for us, and it deals with the dead things in my life. It brings resurrection in my life, it prunes my life. I don't like that, but hallelujah, he prunes me because he loves me. He disciplines me because he loves me. He doesn't discipline me because he hates me, he doesn't punish. He disciplines, he prunes so I can bring forth more fruit. And fruit doesn't always look like what we think fruit is.
And so I just feel like God is wanting people to have intense -- I mean, I'm Sicilian -- intense loving relationship with him. And I just think we've gotten a little confused about the relational Gospel dynamic. We're kind of like, if you want to just go to heaven when you die -- I really believe that God wants to talk to his people now. I believe that he speaks through his Word. I believe the Word of God is alive. I believe when we read the psalms, the things that David had encounters with, where David saw this rescuing loving God, those are written because the way God feels about David and the way God feels about Jesus is the way he feels about us.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. Lisa, I love the gift of God in you. I'm just so thankful for the longevity of ministry, for your ability to articulate these deep truths in such an accessible way. That is the gift of God in you. And I just want to thank the Lord, in front of our listeners, for what he's done in your life --
Lisa Bevere: Thank you.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- and your cooperation with it.
And as I'm listening to you, I'm thinking, okay, this is, like, the best thing ever. Like, this could make mental health facility shut down, like, if we could figure this out, if we could receive this. So here's my question. What do we risk if we reject the love of God or if we only receive it on our own terms?
Lisa Bevere: Well, first and foremost, Jesus came that we would have life, which means that we would not have eternal death. But then he didn't stop there. Life to the full, or life more abundantly. So we will live a survival life if we do not receive the love of God into every area of our life. For example, right now we've been so privileged, my husband and I, to host an app called MessengerX. It has so many things on it. It has things where people can find out about parenting, marriage, calling, how to study Scripture. But, Jennifer, do you know what the number one thing that is searched on our app by Christians? How to get free from porn.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh.
Lisa Bevere: I believe that actually the love of God sets people free from the perversion and the shame that comes in with lust. So the love of God is an all-consuming force, and the love of God is the antithesis of fear. So if I live in a constant state of fear that God maybe doesn't love me, or maybe I think, okay, he loves me because he has to because Jesus died for me, but he doesn't like me. See, David's words from Psalm 139 fly in the face of that when he says, "How good, how precious, how treasured are your thoughts about me, O God?" He said, "If I could even number them," he said, "they would outnumber the grains of sand on the sea." So we've got a God who is thinking good thoughts, treasured thoughts, and then innumerable thoughts.
But he doesn't stop there. He said, "And when I wake, you are still with me." There is a constant. God has love for us, that no human has, because he is love, and it's a mercy reset every single morning. So if I don't receive that love -- which, Jennifer, I've done that. I've been like --
Jennifer Rothschild: Me too.
Lisa Bevere: -- you know what, God, I know you've forgiven me, I know you love me, but I'm going to punish myself about what I've done for, like, four or five more days. I'm going to do penance on this before I receive your love because I'm so ashamed of myself. But I have never had God say, "That's a great idea."
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
Lisa Bevere: "Why don't you go ahead and be your own sacrifice." He does not say that. Matter of fact, anytime that I have come just horrified by myself -- which, you know, it happens. You know, just like, did I say that? Did I do that?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Lisa Bevere: I've never heard him say, "Yep, and you're going to do it again." He always says, "Lisa, I believe you want to change and I forgive you." That love moves me into the future. And I feel too many people are trapped in their past because they do not receive the love of God, the forgiveness of God, the mercy of God in their moment.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, may we be humble and trusting enough to do that, in Jesus' name.
Girl, this is so good. And I am totally recommending your book, because there's just not enough podcast to contain Lisa Bevere, my people. So we're going to need to get her book so we can really hear more, because this is just so good.
But I'm going to move us to our last question. So we focused on the love of God toward us. Okay? So I want us on this last question to think about the love of God through us. Okay? Because we're living in an age when everybody just wants to and kind of expects to be seen and heard. What does it mean for us to speak with love? I would love it if you would just leave us with some principles or some Scriptures that we could apply to this.
Lisa Bevere: Yes. Well, I love that you're bringing this up. First of all, being loved by God well, I mean, in such a way where God is loving us to a place of wholeness, should always translate to loving others well. We don't always understand that loving other people does not mean we're endorsing everything they say, everything that they do. We can love people we disagree with. But love doesn't compromise truth. And, Jennifer, I think tragically the church has for too long preached truth without love, so our culture has responded by preaching love without truth. But love without truth is a lie. And so you and I have to be able to live the truth in love, which means we do it first and foremost with one another.
The Bible says they're going to know we're Christians by our love one for another. It doesn't say they're going to know that we're Christians by our love for God. People are watching how we are treating one another, and sometimes we are just not doing that well. I'm like, oh, my gosh. And a lot of people really call everybody out, put labels on other people. Like, if they're not doing life like me, then, you know, they're this or that.
Here's the thing. Jesus never makes people choose sides. He is always standing in the middle and declaring truth. He's not like, I'm going to call everybody out. Except for the religious pharisees. He calls everybody up. He calls them to a higher standard. He says, All right. Well, let's talk about that. But he's not going to be standing and siding. He's going to be like, hey, people, there is a kingdom, and right now you're being divisive.
And I for one, I want to be the answer to Jesus' prayer that we would be one. And one doesn't mean same. One means that we would actually be one with the purpose of Jesus and that that same power that Jesus walked in would be seen in the church. But right now, because we are divided and divisive, that blessing cannot come. But I believe fierce love of God on me then unites me to people who have experienced God's fierce love, and we don't compromise truth; we live it.
K.C. Wright: You heard the woman. We don't compromise truth; we live it. I love her heart, I love her husband John's heart. Their kids, by the way, are -- man, they've done something right. These kids are all in the ministry too. Anyway, we need to live the truth in love. They will know we are Christians by our bumper sticker, our T shirt, our cross necklace. Oh, no, no, no, no. They will know we are Christians by the way we love one another.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well said, my friend. And all that, the way we love each other, it is a response to God's fierce love toward us. So, our friends, he does love us. He loves you. So receive that love and then give that love.
K.C. Wright: Go to the Show Notes now at 413podcast.com/240 to get a copy of her book and also to read the transcript of this great conversation. It's all right there. There were so many truth bombs in it, you will definitely want to go back and review.
Well, this one is a wrap. We really don't want to say goodbye. So until next week, remember, whatever you face and however you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: I can.
Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.
Jennifer Rothschild: And the truth has been spoken on The 4:13.
K.C. Wright: I love it. Love isn't something God does; love is something God is. And he loves you.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, he does.
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