Unearned Love

Monday, November 07, 2016

“But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for you because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.’” (Isaiah 43: 1-2, 4)

Today’s society definitely has an obscure definition of love. Most of the time, love is based off of what we can do to make another person happy. If our performances don’t meet someone’s expectations, they’ll kick us to the curb and move on.

Often, we think God’s love for us works the same way. We try so hard to do all of these good deeds in order to earn extra favor with God, that we forget He has already given us His approval. Believing the lies Satan feeds us, we hold ourselves to certain standards so that God will be proud of us. As Christians, we claim that we have accepted grace, but then turn around and try to live unattainably perfect lives, revoking Christ’s grace we just affirmed.

As children of God, we already have all of the Father’s love. Nothing we ever say, do, or think will ever cause Him to love us any more or any less. He’s not some distant Father counting how many times we’ll mess up each day. The Lord’s view of us does not change based on what we can do for Him. He knows we’ll never be able to measure up to His expectations; that’s why He gave us grace! In fact, God doesn’t even need us to do good things for Him. Even without us, He’d be able to accomplish everything He wanted to.

There will always be more you could be doing for God. Even so, that doesn’t mean that He’s disappointed in you when you miss out on an opportunity to serve Him. He’s not shaking His head when you don’t do things quite right. God’s love for us never once fluctuates when we mess things up. Yes, He desires our lives to line up with His teachings. But it’s also important to Him that our good deeds are an outpour of a heart filled to the brink with love and gratitude.

Because He delights in us, He simply wants our hearts to draw near to His.

We can’t even begin to work for the Kingdom until we realize how cherished we are. All of our efforts will be in vain if we try to trust in ourselves rather than trust in the Lord. Jesus tells us in John 15:5, that “Apart from me, you can do nothing” and in Romans 7:18, Paul says “Nothing good dwells in me.” How incredible is it, that our God, who is the ideal embodiment of perfection, passionately loves us sinners? We fail Him daily and are in constant dependence of His goodness, yet He pursues us with an all-consuming and never ending love.

Trying to live up to unreachable levels of righteousness is exhausting. During times when we labor so wearily to earn God’s approval, we simply need to remind ourselves of the love He has so readily poured upon us. Jesus’ death accomplished for us what we could never accomplish for ourselves: He gave us right standing with God. So why then, do we toil so hard to merit the Father’s love and hang our heads in shame when we don’t measure up? Living with this mindset is not how God intended us to live.

He calls us, instead, to a life of intimacy and complete dependence on Him that is only possible because of the cross. Children of God, it’s time to stop trying to earn our own righteousness and run into the grace God so desperately wants us to receive!

Dear Father, thank You for Your amazing grace! Thank You that nothing I ever do will sway your view of me. Your love for me is unfathomable. I’m such a sinner, but because of Christ’s sacrifice, You love me as if I’ve never sinned. I fail You daily, yet You look at me with the proud eyes of a loving Father. I am so in love with You, Lord. Thank You for never giving up on me and for reminding me that I am forever Yours. Amen.

How often do you feel unlovable to God?
Why do you think we try to substitute grace for our own efforts?
Whose voice is loudest in your head?
Spend some time this week in Scripture discovering who God says you are.

Written by: Mikayla Moreen

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