In this post I want to talk about the fact that God is love, and what that means to us as believers. It actually makes a big difference in our walk with God when we realize how much He loves us. As common sensical as that may sound, it’s still a very common problem in the Christian culture. We know to some degree that God loves us; we felt His love to some degree when we were convicted of our hopelessness without Him and became aware of the reality of what Jesus Christ did on the Cross for us. But most of us leave it at that, head knowledge. A lot of people I know, including myself, have gotten their view of God through the way they were raised as kids. It is very common forkids to grow up viewing God as another parental figure, after all, the Bible does refer to God as our Father. The problem with this is that our parents are human, and sometimes they make mistakes even when they mean well. Sometimes our parents get annoyed with us, lose their patience, and lash out, and so on. This teaches kids that certain actions can cause our parents to act certain ways to us, and that our actions can influence the way our parents treat and see us. If we obey them they will be proud of us. If we do well in life and make few mistakes they will be even more proud of us. Now we might not say that out loud, but I think a lot of us think that sub-consciously. I’m sure most parents don’t mean to teach their kids that, but like I said, parents are human, not perfect. And that rule isn’t a bad rule to apply in some situations i.e. at work, if we obey our bosses, it will benefit us far more than if we don’t. But in our relationship with God, it can and does, really hinder many people. We read in the Bible that we cannot earn God’s love, but we are programmed to believe that in fact, not only can we earn it; we can change how much of it we can have. A lot of men, including me, have used their earthly fathers as references for interpreting how their Heavenly Father would act and respond to them. Also, many of us use ourselves as references for how God would be responding to different things we have done in our lives, good or bad. “If someone disobeyed, mistreated, lied, disrespected etc., me like that I would be really upset, and would probably not want to be around them for quite a while. So God probably would feel the same way, or even more upset because He is so holy.” This is the thought process that many of us use when we make mistakes. Even though we know that the Bible says that’s not true, we can’t accept it because our experience in this world tells us something different. When people love unconditionally it’s a rare thing in our world. The result of these false views of who God is, and how He views us, can cause us to avoid Him, which in turn hinders us from getting to know Him. In a world where most Christians only spend time with God once a week on Sunday, and not even necessarily engaged during that one time, it makes it very difficult for Jesus Christ to reveal His true nature to people. Our culture in North-America keeps us so busy with the things of this world, that we miss out on the things that truly concern our souls.
THE TRUTH IS that God is not human. He made us in His image, and one day those of us who know Jesus Christ personally as our Lord and Savior will be made like Him. But we are not Him. He is not a sinful human being prone to make mistakes because of His emotions. God is perfect in all of His attributes, including Love. He loves us perfectly, and unconditionally. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”(Rom. 5:8NIV) I love that verse so much because it sums up in a very powerful way the nature of God’s love for us. God’s love for us isn’t dependant on us not failing, it’s dependant on God never failing. God doesn’t love us because of what we do, or don’t do, our worth doesn’t come from what we do, or don’t do, it comes from our Creator. The measure of love that God has for us will never change, never. So if God’s love and our worth isn’t dependant on us, then why do we feel so depressed when we fail? And why do we feel so far away from God when we live in impurity and selfishness? I believe the answer to the first question is a that false view of God and what He thinks when we fail. The truth is God knows we are human and that we are not perfect, He knows we are going to make mistakes even when we are pursuing Him; He’s never surprised by it! He also knows that apart from Him we can accomplish nothing that He asks. And so rather than avoiding Him when we fail, He wants us to run into His arms of love, to confess our sins to him n complete honesty, and let Him cleanse us and purify us from all unrighteousness. As far as why we feel so far away from God when we do live in impurity, I believe the answer is that, although sin doesn’t change the measure of God’s love towards us, it can change our experience of His love. When we live in sin it separates us from God, and just like knowing your father loves you isn’t quite the same as when your father gives you a big hug and whispers in your ear that he loves you, so it is when we sin. God still loves us when we sin, don’t believe me? go back and read Romans 5:8 again, but how we experience that love changes when we sin.