The fact that God loves you unconditionally is a life-changing concept. God doesn’t love you because you are good or have lived up to His standards. He knows you can never do that. He loves you simply because He does. Peter tells us, “Cast all your anxieties upon Him for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7
The reason you can take your anxieties to Jesus is because He loves you and that love is unconditional. The problem many of us face is that we don’t see ourselves as Jesus sees us. We are hard on ourselves and beat ourselves up because of our failures and mistakes. We willfully sin, we become indifferent and drift away from God thinking we are too sinful for Him to ever love or accept.
The wonderful news of the Gospel is that Jesus knows all that and He still loves you. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly,” Romans 5:6. In verse 8 Paul reinforces the point, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And while we are in Romans I can’t resist, “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 8:39
In Romans 8:39 Jesus is making it clear that there is nothing too big, too high, too hard, too demanding that it could interfere with His never ending abiding love for you. In God’s eyes you are special. Now, let’s dwell for a moment on the nature of God’s love. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” 1 John 4:10
The God of the Universe who created all things including you, loves you so much that He would give His own life in order to be able to invite you home again. He died taking our sins upon Himself and the wrath, the penalty and the judgment that should have been ours because of our sins He absorbed. In the place of death He gave us freedom and life.
How do we get this freedom? Stop believing that you are too evil or rotten for God to love, and by faith accept His love for you. Now this is the wonderful good news of the Bible that Jesus came to save us just where He finds us. Remember the story of the Prodigal Son? The Father saw His broken and defeated son a long ways off down the road struggling to find his way home and what does the Father do? He runs towards him and throws His arms around him and welcomes him home. He puts a ring on his finger, a cloak over his shoulders and sandals on his feet. Through these gestures he was saying to the shattered boy, “it’s all right, you are home now, and I still love you.”
Some of you reading my words are probably saying, “you are making it all too easy.” That’s right. It is the easiest thing in the world to find salvation and yet it cost God the highest price possible—the death of His Son. Of course your life is going to change once you latch on to the wonder of God’s love for you.
So, what keeps us from accepting that abounding love of God? We confuse religion with the Gospel. If you follow my blogs you have read these words many times, but it is worth repeating. Religion says you get your house in order, stop sinning, prove to God you are serious, make the changes in your life that need to be done and then God will accept you. That view says Christianity is a morality religion and that our relationship with God is based on our being good enough for God to love us.
The Gospel teaches that we are loved as we are and where God finds us. His love has nothing to do with how good we are, because we can never be good enough. He loves us because that is His nature. The result of our accepting His love is that our life changes at the pace God sets. He shows us what needs cleaned up or changed in our life and He gives us the strength, the desire and the power to live the Christian life through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Paul writes, “and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God,” Ephesians 5:2 When we understand that our salvation and the love of God towards us is not based upon performance or how good we are, but instead upon how good God is, it becomes a transforming moment.
Have you ever thought about prayer? The very nature of prayer is geared so that we bring our troubles, defeats and brokenness to God. It is exactly when we feel too distant from God and too sinful to pray that we may come to God with confidence. God doesn’t just love us when we are doing well and everything is A1. He understands the turmoil, temptations and hardships we live in and His heart goes out to us in compassion and love. And what does God ask in return for pouring out His life in death and love for us? “Beloved, let us love one another, for God is love and he who loves is born of God and knows God,” 1 John 4:7.
Do you really want to know the heart of God? Then allow love to push the anxiety, fear, animosity and anger out of your heart. No, it doesn’t happen over night, it’s the work of a lifetime. We stumble and fall in our ability to love and we are never perfect in it but when we take our eyes off of our own performance we grow in love.
The knowledge that we are redeemed and loved, and this all happens while we are still sinners, is good news! Knowing the result of our salvation is that we begin to love others is good news, as well, because it is freeing. It turns our eyes outward instead of being locked on our performance and actions. The more we allow the Spirit to fill our lives the less self-absorbed we become and compassion begins to fill our hearts instead.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9
* Please remember to pray for the Christians who are suffering persecution for their faith in many countries around the world. There is a great evil settling on this earth and we must be vigilant in our prayers and stay close to Christ. Our hope is in Christ and he is faithful to his people. Please take the time to read about what is taking place in the world around us at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…