We are told we do not have to earn God’s love. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Turns out, getting this concept is a little trickier than it looks. If you have found yourself sore over something you’ve done and you’re feeling sure that God is disappointed in you, trust that you are not alone. And while there are things we do that God is not pleased with, the difference between behavior and inherent worth are two completely separate things.
I had an opportunity to demonstrate this to my 13-year-old daughter the other day. She did something that upset me. She made a choice that went against what she knew was the way we do things in our family. At our house, we pay attention to what God says about things and how we should deal with it. She knows this. Her behavior told me that she decided to do what she wanted anyway. When she was found out, she was tearfully remorseful. I was angry with her. Even still, the need to show her that we don’t earn God’s love was the perfect lesson in this situation.
We Will Try To Earn God’s Love Out Of Misunderstanding
The concept of unconditional love can be difficult to understand. In my daughter’s case, she was afraid that her actions made me disappointed in her. I was disappointed in her behavior but not in her in general. At no point did I love her less than I did the day before she committed her crime.
Timid and sad, she came to me to ask me if I still loved her. My heart broke at the thought there would be even one second that she thought I didn’t love her or loved her even one fraction less. I embraced my beautiful child as she stood in front of me with folded in shoulders and head drooping. I held her and told her I could never love her less. I told her that no matter what she does, it won’t make me not love her. My anger fell away as she said she was sorry. When I was sure she was sufficiently loved on, I explained that this is how God feels about us.
This, my friends, is the picture of repentance. When we come to God and ask forgiveness, He forgives us. He embraces our hurt and holds us until we feel better. The thing that we get wrong is envisioning a God that has become soured on us because we sin. God doesn’t like sin. We know that. What we have to understand is that He always loves us, regardless.
Loving the sinner and hating the sin is why the cross for Jesus was so necessary. Why did He go willingly? Because He loved us first. He loved us when we didn’t love Him. He loved us as He watched us commit sins against His word. He loved us when we stole that thing. He loved us when we lied. He loved us. What He didn’t love is what we did, but He didn’t reject who we are.
God’s Word Proves We Could Never Earn God’s Love
1 John 4:19 is such an important Bible verse to share with others because it is all we need to know before we bow our knee to Him. We could never earn God’s love because loved us before we even knew Him. There was nothing to earn. In a world that has you earning everything before you are accepted, God’s kingdom is exactly the opposite. In God’s kingdom, we don’t have to be good enough. God doesn’t care how much we make or who we know. God isn’t interested in our degrees or social affiliations. God wants our hearts. He wants us to know His love for us.
What does God want from us? A heart that receives Him. It’s that simple. This verse is important to share with people because the world says we have to make ourselves acceptable to be respected. God says come as you are. There is no good day to clean yourself up to come to church. Every day is the right day; hungover, broke, betrayed, rejected, homeless, paroled, divorced, or whatever label you have given yourself as a reason that God should reject you. Make sure someone you meet this week knows that Jesus loves them and wants them to come to Him today, as is. You won’t earn God’s love by sharing Jesus with others, but it sure does feel good to do it.