“We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.”
Romans 5:7-8 (THE MESSAGE)
A man with his three year old triplets came into the supermarket. The employees sighed, and braced themselves for the ordeal.
The man tried to keep his brood quiet, but they wailed and howled and fought with each other and grabbed items off shelves and generally annoyed everyone in the store. Eventually the struggling father made it through the checkout counter and apologized to the cashier for their behaviour. As they were leaving, the cashier said, “That’s quite a lively brood you have there. How do you cope?”
The father smiled and said, “I love them. And they’re mine.”
That’s something like the answer God would give if we were to ask him, “Why do you put up with us?” We’re selfish, we fight and quarrel, we hate and kill each other, and we misuse and destroy the beautiful world he gave us.
And still he loves us–with a strong, never failing unconditional love. He may not always like the way we live or the choices we make, but he always loves us, and we’re always his.
Sometimes we feel we have to earn God’s love. But we have that backwards. God loves us in spite of what we are, or what we do. The sinners, the outcasts, the self-righteous – even those who tortured and crucified him – none have placed themselves beyond his love. God looks past the sin and sees someone he loves — someone he forgives and wants to help – someone he wants to have a new and joy-filled life.
Don’t ever feel as though you have to earn God’s love, or that you don’t belong to God. Know that you are “one of the family” and dearly loved.
Once you really know that, you naturally begin to improve your behaviour – to live as he would want you to — to love others as he loves you.
God loves you, and you’re his, and that will never change.
Loving Father, thank you that I am yours, that I belong to you and that nothing can ever change that. In Jesus’ name.
Study by Joseph Tkach