God loves you unconditionally. This statement is one of the most revolutionizing concepts that a follower of Jesus could ever comprehend. It is easy to make the Gospel all about us, but that is not the true Gospel. The very core of Scripture is the exposure to a lost world that the great unfathomable God of creation loves us.
All too often we fall into the trap of believing that our spirituality and well being with God depends upon how much we love Him. Let me be clear; if our salvation depended upon the quality and deepness of our love for God, we would all be lost because we can never live up to what we should be. Romans 3:23 reminds us that we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Don’t try to fool yourself into thinking your salvation depends upon your finding God. Redemption is predicated upon God finding you and then your response to His mercy and grace. It is God’s love as manifested through His Son Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice at Calvary that assures you of salvation.
While contemplating, meditating, and studying God’s love I have become convinced that, as undeserving as we are, God’s love never ceases to flow out to us. No matter how far away from Him we drift or even intentionally flee away from His mercy He never abandons us or gives up on us. We are always in His sight and His love is always there.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” I believe this is the central verse of all Scripture. In a nutshell we have a summary statement of everything going on from Genesis to the last verses of Revelation. Notice, everything begins with God’s love.
Christianity, unfortunately in our culture, as a term has less than a sterling quality associated with it. People associate Christianity and Christians for that matter, with bigotry, unwarranted protests, legalism, and judgmental views. Jesus, on the other hand, opens up discussion and curiosity on the part of people who are seeking a spiritual experience. I believe while we have turned the religion of love into a religion of regulations and rulebook theory, the person of Jesus catches the imagination and longings of people because He embodies love.
In Romans 8:37-39 Paul tells us, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
If you believe your past or the sins that you have yourself involved in now can keep God from loving you, then you would be wrong. Nothing can separate you from God’s love. And how is God’s love manifested to us? It is through the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. You cannot do enough bad things to make God stop loving you.
Ephesians 2:4-5 makes that very clear. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He love us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”
Jesus, died on the cross for you and me and every sin we have ever committed and every sin we now commit and every sin we will ever sin. He took our place and paid the penalty of sin—death. Why? So He could give us eternal life, joy, happiness, security, and eternity to be with Him.
When we accept God’s love for us our slate is wiped clean. Our past is forgiven and forgotten. We start fresh, the Bible calls it being born again. And what is happening when we accept the mercy and grace of God into our lives? We are acknowledging that we are loved unconditionally.
There is a little quoted verse in Zephaniah that sums up well God’s love. “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” (3:17)
In 1 Peter 5:6-7 we read, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
I know, we wake up and face another day of trials, pain and sorrow. That is the way of life all too often, for way too many people. But, the truth is we have all been there and will be there again. Loved ones will die, careers come to an end, children go through problems, and illness touches us. Husbands, wives may leave you, children become estranged, and good friends drift out of our life but God is a constant. He is always here and always on our side. Psalm 86:15, “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
God is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in unwavering love and is totally faithful to us. What more could we ever need or want in a relationship. I love the title of Brennan Manning’s sermon on Youtube, “God loves you as you are, not as you should be because you will never be what you should be.” Manning understands God’s unconditional love. He often identifies God by reminding us of the “relentless tenderness of Jesus.” What a wonderful and uplifting thought!
Please, whatever you do is do not confuse the world of Christianity with the simple grace of Jesus. For many of us, myself included, when I was baptized I thought I was being baptized into a church. I associated my conversion with church membership. Over the years I have come to realize that we are to be baptized into Jesus and church membership is a by-product of that initial experience.
Jesus loves you and longs for you to come home to HIM. He longs to hold you in His arms, dry away the tears and never let you go. Your past, guilt and shame are all washed away through His amazing love called Calvary. Yes, it is true you are not worthy, or good enough to have such grace poured on you—and yet it is. That is love, rejoice in it.