Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Catechism #3

Question: Don't we have to be good enough for God to love us?
Answer: No, God loves us in spite of the wrong we do.

One of the saddest misunderstandings in human history is the false belief that God’s love is based on how well we perform.

As we continue to think about our adoption by the Father, think about each Christmas or birthday you had growing up. Did you earn the gift under the tree, or did they come regardless of your behavior?

While I have heard many jokes about receiving a lump of coal in a stocking, I have never heard of a person who woke up on December 25th to a carbon Christmas. Gifts, like love, are not earned; gifts are given by the giver simply because the giver chose to give the gift.

In the same way, God’s love is a gift that emanates from the throne room of heaven. His love is poured out on all of His adopted children. How do we know that His love is not based on how well we perform? Because His love was demonstrated to us while we were at our worst:

“But God demonstrated His love to us in this way: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8

We were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1/Colossians 2:13) with no hope of salvation. Jesus did not come to earth to save the best of us; as He said, it is not the well who need a doctor, but the sick (Luke 5:31).

According to psychologists, the number one question adopted children ask themselves is, “How long will take for them to stop loving me?” Many of these children have been abandoned by biological parents, grandparents, and extended family, and many were mistreated when foster parents gave up on them. On average, each foster child will go through multiple homes before finally being adopted. They figure it is only a matter of time until their new family throws them back out and into the system.

But God will never throw us out; His love will never end. He promises that there is no condemnation for His children (Romans 8:1); no sin will break the deal. God promised His love, demonstrated it through Jesus, and sealed us with His Spirit.

This knowledge should not make you want to sin more, but less. When the orphaned child understands the magnitude of where he was brought from, he will naturally want to love, obey, and enjoy the company of the one who delivered him.

We were that orphan. Do you understand what Christ has done for you? This should motivate you to give your all for Him.

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