God is love
The English word love is used in many ways. It ranges from infatuation for ourselves to a sacrificial love for others.
All of us want to be loved. Sadly, many try to earn it from others. Some attempt to obtain the love of a parent by trying to do what we think will please them even though they are now gone.
We try so hard to win our spouse’s love, but we cannot make someone want us. We will even do immoral or degrading things to encourage someone to need us.
In order to win God’s love, we are constantly trying to impress Him. We do something for Him, then stand back and ask if He loves us now or if He still cares about us.
Does God change us so He may love us? No, because He already does and nothing will ever change that. It is not based on who we are, but who He is because we can never do enough to earn or deserve it. One songwriter says we may be out of God’s will, but never out of His love. Parents sometimes condition their children by telling the child if he does not do what he is told then the parent will not love him. God, however, has, is and always will, even if we reject Jesus Christ as Savior and choose to spend eternity without Him.
God changes us so we may love Him. Our relationship with Him does not depend on what we do for Him, but what He does for us.
Receiving Christ as our Savior enables us to love God. No longer are we at war with Him because of our surrender at the cross. Our love will grow as we discover how faithful He is, how He cares for us and how He will never forsake us.
Even after we sin, the Lord forgives, cleanses and restores our relationship to Him. He takes the initiative to come to us knowing we will not come to Him. He sends angels to protect us, the Holy Spirit to empower us and the scriptures to guide us. He provides everything, but will not make us love Him.
God also changes us so we are able to love those who are unlovable. This causes us to see beyond others’ faults to their needs. We must love God first before we can love our neighbor. The book of First John teaches us to love God’s family. We do so as God, who sees us with patience, compassion and forgiveness.
The only way to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength is with what God provides for us. It is not something we earn but receive, not develop but discover. Receiving God’s love will open a whole new experience with our Heavenly Father.
REV. STEVE CONWELL, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, is heard mornings on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today”. He can be reached at SteveConwell@outlook.com.