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A Heart For God: Unconditional Love

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Unconditional Love

We don't understand the Scriptures or God's love (including me, too). I've heard it said many times that if you or I were the only one, Jesus would have died for us(!). I've also heard that Christ died because we are valuable to Him. Each statement may be true in a sense, but not in the way that most people say them.

The Scriptures communicate something else. It's message is a holy God giving His life for the unlovable ~ the One of supreme worth dying for the worthless ones. This kind of love has nothing to do with the object having something to offer, but with the Christ who loves. Do you see that? I don't want to get too complicated so as to lose you.

Think about it. Jesus is having the nails driven through His wrists and into a crossbeam all the while saying, "'Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.'" (Luke 23:34a) Is it because the Roman soldier pounding the hammer is such a great person?

And then what of the story of the Prodigal / Lost Son? Unless the son returns home there is no reconciliation. I mean, I don't see the father going to the pig pen and dragging him home. The story could have ended much differently (and, unfortunately, does for many in this life). The son could have died in his condition eating pig's food. It would have been of his own choosing to remain in that "worthless state." The father would have it differently, but as the spiritual message goes, "love" allows an individual choice to receive or reject it. If the father dragged the son home without him wanting to be there, well, you can feel the tension. And he would have just left again.

And why would God condemn to hell those of great value to Him?

This is dangerous to talk about God's love like this, but it's important. Because until we realize just how bad we really are (Jeremiah 17:9), having nothing to offer God in our sinful state (Isaiah 64:6b; Romans 3:10), we won't fully receive the grace available that removes our sin and ~ this is just such an important point ~ AND we won't fully love others like Jesus does / loves. (1 John 3:16)

You see, most (even the best among us) "love" conditionally. Right? It is only when we understand unconditional love (Romans 5:8, 10a) that we are able to love unconditionally. (1 John 4:19)

Unconditional love chooses for the highest good of the object of its love. (And even if it would nail you to a cross.) It is beyond us to love the ugly and vile and wretched and despicable and those that use and abuse and revile us. But that's what God does.

We wonder at the example of Mother Teresa, etc. How could / can they do it? They know / she knew unconditional love. That's how.

"'For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.'" (Luke 7:47)

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Blogger Sammy said...

Dear Pastor,
I have been going thru all the awesome stuff on your blod/website. It is truly inspirational. May the God who put these thoughts in you be glorified for ever and ever! Amen.


5:10 AM  
Blogger ChiaOwl said...

I have always felt a slightly unsettled feeling when I've heard/read "if you or I were the only one, Jesus would have died for us" but have never known exactly why. Now I do, thank you for clarifying this, your words struck me as I read them that this is why it has always bothered me. Have a blessed day!

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