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Unconditional Love:

06 Jul

Unconditional It is defines as “not limited by conditions; absolute: “
   This adjective is often attached to the love of God. So often, in fact, that I think we have actually forgotten what that means. In our minds, somehow, we hear the phrase “God’s unconditional love” and interpret it to mean “God loves us a lot” or take it to mean that “once you’ve gotten in on this love, God will continue to love you.” Whatever we take it to mean we balk at it even remotely meaning what it really does mean: That God loves you just like you are! He doesn’t love you for what you could be. He doesn’t love you because of what you will accomplish one day. He loves you now! Before any repentance is shown on your part – He loves you! He doesn’t say, “If you would like to get into my good graces then you need to repent of your adultery, drunkenness, alcoholism, anger, lying, theft, lust, greed, etc.” 
   We naturally think this scandalous as it seems to remove all impetuous for change – such is the nature of grace.  In reality, it removes all false motives for repentance and reform. John said, “We love Him because He first loved us.” Love is the strongest, and biblical, motivator for repentance; but fear is the one most commonly used in today’s churches. Sad to say, the church (the very place where love should be most manifested) employs fear as its primary motivator. I have heard countless sermons preached where fear of shame on judgment day was used to motivate people to “knock doors”, fear of eternal fire was used to get people to walk an isle, and fear that God would give you 4 flat tires was used to spur people to “pay the tithe”.  Jesus said that all men would know that we are His disciples by the love that we have for each other, yet this is not the case. The church (at least in America), rather than abounding in love, is rife with the fear of man. Sometimes this fear masquerades as “fear of God”, but it is nothing of the sort. People are so concerned with keeping the rules (whatever they may be) out of fear of what would be thought of them by their pastor, or their Christian friends, or out of fear of what God might do to them if they don’t. Scripture says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” What does this mean of the church today? In all our attempts to systematize Jesus and His teachings, have we lost sight of Who He actually is and what He actually taught? 
   The love of God can not be over emphasized. God’s holiness did not cause Him to send His Son. God’s righteousness didn’t cause Him to become man and die for humanity. It was His love that moved Him to redeem humanity. Had He not loved us, His holiness would have kept Him distant, His righteousness would have sealed our damnation, but His love …it was in love that He came to redeem us!While we were still sinners Jesus Christ died for us. While the prostitute was completing her business transaction, Jesus loved her and died for her. While the homosexual was still in his sinful relationship, Jesus loved him and died for him. While the Christ denying Muslim was still stubbornly rejecting God’s love bestowed on him through Jesus, Jesus loved him and died for him. While those who were murdering Jesus and spewing out vile things toward Him were in the midst of committing that very act, Jesus loved and died for every last one of them. God wants to have fellowship with every man, woman, and child. He was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. Jesus is God’s eternal ‘YES’ to humanity. God loves us just as we are, before our repentance or faith. Repentance doesn’t make us acceptable to God. Repentance is a response to the realization that God already UNCONDITIONALLY loves us. 
   Some approach Christ as if they have to beg Him to save them. I know of one Bible college graduate who was struggling over his salvation and told God that God had to save him because he had prayed and asked God to do so and therefore God was obligated to keep His end of the deal. This approach is founded upon the false belief that God doesn’t actually want to save him. This fear eclipses the truth that Jesus actually came to seek out and save the lost. It completely tramples on the grace of God displayed through Jesus on the cross. It forsakes the picture of the loving father, running too meet the prodigal, smothering him with kisses, refusing to let him say he was sorry, and then throwing a party for Him. What an insult to the father’s love had the prodigal, during the celebration feast, continued to tell his father how he was obligated to keep his end of the bargain (not to mention presumptuous). 
   Being loved by God just as we are does not mean we do not have sin we need to repent of; it does mean, however, that we do not need to repent in order to be loved. 
   Nothing you can do will make God love you more or less. His love is unconditional. 

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Jesus Christ

 

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