If I told you that I made a bad mistake in judgment yesterday? Would you judge and/or condemn me? If I told you that long ago did some very bad things in my life? Would you think less of and forsake me ? If I told you that I struggle every day trying to do what I know I should do? Would you still respect me? If I told you that despite wanting to do things right, sometimes I fail miserably? Would you still love me?
The finger pointing and finger wagging side of Christianity never does anything good for struggling believers. The condescending and self righteous attitude manifested by those who refuse to believe they ever stumble or fall is nothing but pure hypocrisy. The attitude that places strings on love and respect is the same attitude that drives people away from our glorious faith instead of toward it.
Placing conditional strings on our love renders us incapable of manifest the greatest love of all, the love of God. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love is not dependent upon how good we are or what good we do. God is love and God loves you and me. This is perhaps one of the most fundamental things we need to know, believe and share with others.
If I only love you IF you please me, are nice to me, think highly of me or give things to me; my love is counterfeit, self-serving and hurtful. Loving only IF certain criteria are fulfilled is ugly and totally contrary to the love of God. God does not love us IF we get saved, love Him or sell all we have and give it to the church. The concept of loving IF is totally foreign to God.
Likewise, to only love BECAUSE of what someone says or does is no better than IF they do or say it. Loving BECAUSE of what has been done is conditional and God is unwilling to manifest such conditional love. God does not love us BECAUSE we got saved, devoted our life to Him or do good works.
There is only one way to define the love of God and that is that He loves us IN SPITE OF what we have done or not done. This unconditional love defines agape for it is in fact the very love of God. At the root of this unconditional love lies forgiveness, mercy and compassion. God loves us IN SPITE OF all we have done and His mercy and compassion allows Him to cover our sins with His love.
Have we not all endured times of intense condemnation because we felt we let God or His people down? Have we not all felt totally unqualified to be loved because of our inner doubts, fears and insecurities? In spite of all these things God continues to look tenderly upon us and with open arms beseeches us to come home to Him. That is beauty of the love of God.
Very Interesting blog, but I must ask, Is it love if one sees another about to step on a rattle snake and he does not stop him from doing it or at least letting the one about to step on it know that it is there? If one sees another doing something or believing something that will in the long run separate him from God, is it love not to tell them about it. This would seem to be the general consensus for many “Christians” today. Don’t interfere with another’s beliefs because we cannot know for sure that our beliefs are any better than theirs, so we should just let them go on their merry way to hell. That is not love. Love wants the best for others. Love desires to help those who have gone astray.
Going back to what I said about making God into our own image. This teaching that comes from modern times is so horrendous and is not the God who puts Himself forth in the bible. It is not the God that the Holy Spirit will tell you about. God is Love, yes, this is true, but put by itself it is false. The reason that God said that He is the Great I Am is that He is everything that you can put with that statement. When He says I Am He is saying; I Am a loving God, I Am a jealous God, I Am a merciful God, I Am a just God, I am a God of hate, I Am the God who created good and evil, I Am a vengeful God.
One could fill up a whole book on who God is from what is written in His Word. But yes, overall God is love. Let’s look at what is meant by God’s love. The rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he must do to be saved? Jesus told him that he must keep the commandments pertaining to his interaction with other people. The rich young ruler said all of these I have kept since my youth. What else must I do? Jesus told him to go and sell all that he had and give it to the poor and come and follow Him. In other words Jesus was telling him that he must also keep the commandments pertaining to our love for God. The young man went away sad because of his great wealth. He could not do what Jesus said. What does the word say happened next? It says that Jesus loved this man but told His disciples that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. He loved this man as God loves us but He knew that this man was not going to enter the kingdom of heaven, just as He knows that many of us will not enter because we do not believe who He is.
You say that there are no IF’s with God. To make a statement like this a person literally must dispose of most of what Jesus said. I would have to rewrite all the New Testament to show all the “If You” that are there. Jesus said over and over again; if you don’t do so and so you cannot be a part of Me. Jesus said if you abide to the end you will be saved. Paul said if you do not turn from what you first heard and believed you will be saved. John said if you continue to sin you do not know God. Hebrews says if you continue to sin after coming to know Jesus, there is no longer any sacrifice for you. James said if you have faith with no works that faith can’t save you. Peter says if after you have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and you again become entangled in them and are overcome, your last condition is worse than your first.
God tells us who He is from the first of Genesis to the last of Revelation. People seem to think that because we can’t be remove from God’s love that we can do and live the way that we want and He will forgive us for it. This can only happen if we repent and change our ways and follow what Jesus has told us to do. That can only happen with and through the Grace of God, His Holy Spirit.
You are free to express your opinions but you are not free to twist and turn what I have written into something I did not write. There is nothing so simple as the love of God. The love of God is the basis for everything God has done and will do. Without love, all that remains is law and a cruel God who administers it.
The first thing God taught me in 1969 is that He is love and that through His love He forgave me all my sins. It is beyond my comprehension that anyone would dare say that the love of God is some second rate thing that justifies sin etc.
The love of God allows God to exhibit His compassion, mercy, grace and righteous judgement. The love of God is indeed greater than all of our sins and allows us to bask in the new life God has given.
This blog was intended to show the amazing and beautiful love of God and how when it comes to love, it is unconditional. Of course salvation, rewards, etc ARE conditional and there are tons of If's and Because's. But when it comes to love, God's love has no conditions. Just as God is light and in Him there is no darkness, God is love in Him is nothing that is not loving.
Thank you K and B2Y. After reading discipleofthenazarene's comments I'm sitting here with mouth hanging open and eyes bugged out wondering; Where did this person get this stuff out of B2Y's blog??? I have no idea where this person is coming from.
"There is only one way to define the love of God and that is that He loves us IN SPITE OF what we have done or not done. This unconditional love defines agape for it is in fact the very love of God. At the root of this unconditional love lies forgiveness, mercy and compassion. God loves us IN SPITE OF all we have done and His mercy and compassion allows Him to cover our sins with His love."
This is the point of B2Y's blog as I see it. It's all about the Agape Love God has for His children. I have experienced that Love in an awesome way and know that I know that I know it is real and it is God.
Fabulous blog B2Y - and I get it -right from the heart.
B2Y.. would I condemn you? well the answer as we all know would be No for I have been there, done it and feel terribly ashamed to this day. I detest those who wag their finger at me for the things of my past, or for the things of yesterday. I have no problem taking correction. Been told off as an adult too many times to count and it has held me in good stead.
would I still respect you? Absolutely. But I understand the wider sense of this question.
I am so thankful that God loves me in spite of who I was and who I still am. My pastor's wife told me this week that "the old man" still rises in me at times . Yet He loves me, with correction but without condemnation.
Now thats unconditional love!!!
"For God so loved the world". Or as some would rather quote, "God loved the world in this way".
"that whosoever believeth IN HIM". Mankind failed, all of us. None of us deserve the mercy and grace we receive in and through Jesus Christ. Not one of us can doubt HIS love for us, however.
Our love for Him, on the other hand, I believe is where we debate and discuss. This God is concerned with. And I won't enter that point here, as that was not the subject.
'Whosoever believeth', is the condition I see. The atonement is and has been provided for 'whoever will' come. The requirement is to hunger and thirst for it, and eat and drink.
Thank You for your presence here B2Y. And all the rest. God Bless, in Christ. billy.
I always love reading your blogs, when I have time. By the way, I must say I disagree with discipleofthenazarene on the majority of (his/her) points. The fact that God is a vengeful God does not mean that He is vindictive. He is jealous with a pure jealousy, for mankind has turned his back on Him and began living in darkness. There is but one God. That's the point of his Jealousy: there are no other gods! But God is Holy, Righteous and Pure and Blameless in every fashion and since He and He alone is the Sovereign Lord of the Universe He has the right to punish wickedness and unrepentance. But God is also loving. He does not desire that any would perish. He loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life. Blessing2you was simply relating the fact that since God loved us, in this way, we ought to love one another... and I concur. And I say dispite the misgivings, I think you wrote a wonderful blog, and I look foreward to reading more.
Another excellent blog B2Y. Thank you very much for sharing this with us. We can never hear about the love of God too much. It is so awesome to think about God's love toward us. I'm so glad that He is not like the gods of the world!
Please continue to bless us with your wisdom and knowledge of God's Word.
Such a great blog. Thank you. I think of two things...one should be conviction for how WE "love" and secondly the overwhelming gratitude for how HE LOVES. The following are two clips...one is a call for us to love deeper and truer..Friend of sinners (I am reminded that we are ALL sinners whether we are saved or not)...the words really grab me. The second clip is praise for HIS deep deep love...