“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
I’ve been preparing a message “Faith or Works” that I’ll give a few weeks from now at VALLEY Christian Church and been thinking a lot about the common incomplete understanding that many Christians have about God’s unconditional love.
Does God love unconditionally?
Do we have to try to earn God’s love and forgiveness?
And that’s where many people end the thought. To end the conversation at this point is to miss the most important question of a lifetime: Do I love God?
The Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God loves us. That’s really never in question. What is in question throughout all of Scripture is my love (personally) for God. Jesus did not leave us with some abstract idea of love that we can define on our own. In fact, he spelled out very clearly what it looks like when we really love Him in return:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Jesus defined love, not as a feeling but as action. Think about the familiar interchange Jesus had with Peter as he reinstated him after he denied Jesus three times.
15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon,son of John,do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord,you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17
Each time Peter answered Jesus’ question, Jesus responded to Peter with an instruction to action. Again, “Love Is A Verb”. So how about you? Do you love Jesus? How does your life show that you love Him? Are you keeping his commandments and living out your love for Him?
God love through Jesus Christ for each of us has never really been in question. Our love for God through keeping His commandments comes into question almost on a daily basis.
God give us the grace to love you more!