I wonder how many New Year's resolutions list included: I will receive and walk in God's forgiveness. I will receive and walk in God's love. If these weren't on the list they should have been. I am convinced many, if not most people including Christians struggle with receiving God's forgiveness and His love. To not do so makes for a miserable life.
If God instructs us to love our neighbor as ourselves then surely He expects us to love ourselves the way He loves us.
God’s love does not hinge on yours. The abundance of your love does not increase His, and the lack of your love does not diminish His. Your goodness does not enhance His love, nor does your weakness dilute it.
God loves you simply because He has chosen to do so. He loves you when you don’t feel lovely. He loves you when you feel no one else loves you. Others may ignore you, reject you, abandon even divorce you, but God will always love you, no matter what.
This is His sentiment: “I’ll call no-bodies and make them some-bodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.” (Romans 9:25 MSG).
This is his promise. “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT).
Our love depends on the receiver of the love. Let a thousand people pass before us, and we will not feel the same about each. Our love will be regulated by their appearance, or maybe their personalities. Even when we find a few people we like, our feelings will fluctuate. How they treat us will affect how we love them. The receiver regulates our love.
Not so with the love of God. We have no thermostatic impact on His love for us. The love of God is born from within Him, not from what He finds in us. His love is uncaused and spontaneous.
Does He love us because of our goodness? Because of our kindness? Because of our great faith? No, he loves us because of His goodness, kindness, and great faith. John says it like this: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us” (I John 4:10 NIV).
Do you know what else that means? You have a deep aquifer of love from which to draw. When you find it hard to love, then you need a drink! Drink daily, Drink deeply!
Don’t forget, love is a fruit. Step into the orchard of God’s work, and what is the first fruit you see? “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal.5:22 NIV, emphasis mine). His love and forgiveness is yours to enjoy.