When I asked which Bible verse makes people feel most loved, the answers were surprising. Very few verses mentioned love at all. Many people were deeply affected by descriptions of Jesus' agony, suffering, and death on the Cross to save us. Others were amazed by all God had promised to give to us and how close he had to be, how far he had to stoop, to give us these gifts. But everyone had a different favorite. It made me realize how intensely each line of the Bible speaks to us. God's strength and love shine through his Word with the power to pierce every human heart.

Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium emphasized that God's love is the starting point for every evangelical effort. Without immense confidence in God's love, a person cannot take God's word to heart. Think of the parable of the sower (who is God) casting his seeds into good and bad soil (the hearts of men). The seeds of God's word only flourish in the good soil. But what makes the soil good? It must be tilled and prepared. It must be made ready.

Some people have naturally ready and open hearts, but many of us are cautious, closed, distrustful, even afraid. We can't always feel the love of God. But we can stir up that love like stirring up a fire that has grown low. We can practice gratitude, we can seek out beauty, and we can feed on God's words of love to us.

Here are some Bible verses that touched others' hearts. Let these verses stir up your love for God. And feel free to add your own in the comments!

1. He knit you together in your mother's womb (Ps. 139:13).

2. Even if a mother forget her child, he will not forget you (Is 49:15).

3. You have ravished his heart (Songs 4:9).

4. As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you (Is 62:5).

5. His plans for you are for good and not for evil (Jer 29:11).

6.  He will refresh you when you are weary (Jer 31:25).

7.  He will heal your broken hearts (Is 61:1).

8.  He will take away your sickness (Dt 7:15).

9. He will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Rev 21:3-4).

10. He will cover you with the robe of righteousness (Is 61:10).

11. He will not leave you lonely (Jn 14:18).

12. He will never forsake you (Dt 31:6).

13. He will stay with you always, even to the end of the world (Mt 28:20).

14. He has come that your joy may be complete (Jn 15:11).

15. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 Jn 4:16).

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Copyright 2014 Karee Santos