God always loves you. Such a simple yet profound truth. He does love you. Nothing can change His love for you. You cannot be good enough to earn more love…you cannot be bad enough for Him to stop loving you.
This week at McElwain Baptist Church we are having our annual Vacation Bible School. We are teaching the kids about Paul and the early church. Each night they meet with Paul in his Roman jail cell to hear about God’s work and God’s love. It’s been a great week! dozens of volunteers have put in many hours for this week. Our desire for the week is that these children (and us adults) learn the lesson of God’s love.
We’re teaching children this simple lesson of God’s love. Don’t be mistaken…it’s not a childish message. I was watching a movie recently and someone commented to a priest, “if I want a child’s story, then I’ll come talk to you.” We want these kids to learn of God’s love at an early time in their lives. We as adults know that life gets harder the older you get. When those hard times come we are prone to question God’s love. Though this is a simple truth, there are misconceptions that we have. The Bible says we have an enemy. He is an enemy who lies to us. He takes a little truth and mixes in a lie. He has done that with the truth of God’s love. When we misunderstand the love of God, it leads us to question His love altogether. He are some truths about God’s love.
- God’s love won’t prevent bad things from happening. In our churches we are quick to equate God’s love and God’s blessing with good things in our life. The danger of this one-sided equation is that we can only draw one conclusion when bad things happen – He doesn’t love us. We are eager to present the Christian life (or our own life) as being so happy and easy that we shy away from any talk of hardship. When hardship comes, we don’t know what to do or think. We cannot miss the fact that Paul, author of much of the New Testament, spent his last years in prison for his faith. God’s love (and God’s work through Paul) did not diminish while in prison. God loves you even when bad things are happening in your life. He is always there with you, even in the worst of times.
- God’s love does not change. His love caused Him to send His Son to die on the cross for you. Nothing can change that level of love. The Bible says that while we were sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). His sacrificial death occurred while we were sinners…therefore we cannot be super-sinners that then cause God to stop loving us. In our world of earned love, this truth is often hard to receive. So often our love for one another is conditional. Not so with God.
- God’s love is not a license to sin. Some mistake God’s love as God’s agreement with any and all life choices we make. God loves us despite our sin. His invitation to all people says, “I love you, come to me, follow me, obey me.” Parents love their children, but that doesn’t mean they condone or approve of every decision the child makes. God loves us and wants the best for us. The best we can live is in obedience to Him.
- God’s love doesn’t make Him a pushover. Some think of God’s unconditional love and assume Him to be like Santa Claus, or a benevolent Grandfather. The truth is that He is a righteous and holy God. He is a judge. The Bible is clear from Genesis 3 through Revelation 22 that God punishes sin. He has made provision through His Son to take on the punishment for all who ask. That’s His free offer of forgiveness and salvation. But like any gift, you must receive it. For those who do not receive it, they must pay the punishment themselves. He is not a pushover.
Celebrate His love today. It is a message for children and adults. It’s a message of freedom for everyone.