God loves me

I am discovering how much God loves me.

I have known since I became a Christian at the age of 20 that the Lord Jesus loved me so much he died for my sins on the cross.  But, much of the time in the decades since, I have felt he wasn’t happy with me.

I believed I was saved by God’s gift of grace – his unmerited love.  But I started living the life of a Christ-follower as if I had to earn his love.  And I realized I just didn’t have what it takes to keep him happy – I fell short of the glory of God.

Then, two years ago, my eyes were opened to a new truth for me: God loves me even when I mess up.

There is a wealth of scripture to support that view.  But, perhaps the best illustration in my view is Jesus’ great parable of the Prodigal Son or the Lost Son in Luke 15.

I had always believed that parable referred to people coming to know Christ for the first time.  And that is undoubtedly its primary meaning.  But there is another meaning for believers, too.

Look at how the father welcomes home the lost son home.  He has been waiting for him ever since he wandered away.  And when he sees him, he runs out and hugs him and kisses him before the son can begin to ask his forgiveness.  Before!

Isn’t that tremendous?  The prodigal son had known his father’s goodness before he left home and yet he rejected it and left home to indulge his own self-centred desires.  But his father never stopped loving him.

I am struck by the fact that the father didn’t tell his son: “You can come home if you do this or that to prove you’ll be good from now on.”  Instead, he hugged and kissed him without any preconditions.

There is a lot in the Bible about God’s grace for believers.  Paul devotes a lot of time to explaining to believers that they are not to start living as if they had to fulfill all kinds of rules and regulations to please God.

I find this a liberating truth.  It floods me with hope.

This raises an interesting question: What incentive is there to fight sin?  My quick answer is that when I know how much God loves me, I am going to love him more in return.  And sin will steadily lose its attraction.

I am still sorting this out as I am still pondering the “exchanged life” that I spoke about in my first post.  The exchanged life refers to Christ living his life through me.

I believe they are linked truths – like two rails on a railway track.

Again, I will come back to this in future posts.


1 comment so far

  1. Stephanie Douglas on

    I had the same epiphany in undergrad. Martin Luther wrestled with the very same issues, and was very helpful to me during this time. Luther actually wrote a pamphlet in which he addressed the question around grace and sin – that is, does grace diminish one’s urgency to combat sin? His answer was an eloquent “no”.

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