For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103: 11-12
My nineteen-month-old son tries to test me all the time. He is quite aware of his boundaries but attempts to push it that little bit more to see what he can get away with. I can see his little brain working away as he puts one foot forward past the balcony door then turns to look at me with a cheeky grin. We go through the whole song and dance routine. I say, ‘you know you are not allowed on the balcony’, he giggles and puts his foot back in. Then he puts the other foot out and looks at me again. I say, ‘don’t go on the balcony son’. I try not to use the word ‘No’ too many times as that was one of the first words he learned and he started using it with grave abandon.
Now I’d love to say that he steps back, closes the door and sits down like a good little boy but no…he steps onto the balcony and it’s almost like the force of his naughtiness propels him forward as he makes a dash for it.
Even though I may be upset with him and he might get a stern warning for his behaviour, I can’t imagine anything that he might do in this world that would make him love him less than I do today and I’m sure there are bigger tests to come.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11
It is amazing how much God loves us. It took me a long time to understand that there was nothing I could do to stop God from loving me. Every time I failed at something, I would try to ‘fix’ it by doing ‘good’ things. I would work hard at not sinning while I prayed harder, gave bigger, attend church several times a week till I felt I had somehow become good enough again…good enough for him to forgive me and love me again. Those times were the best times for anyone to cross me. I would respond with a ‘God Bless You’ or “if not for God’ in my self righteousness.
I remember the day the Holy Spirit gave me a new understanding of Gods love. A friend of mine had encouraged me to purchase Tim Keller’s book, Galatians for You. If you want to delve deeper into the book of Galatians, I totally recommend it. I still can’t believe how long it took me to understand how complete Christ’s redeeming work on the cross was and the day I came to the realization I called my friend in excitement. She chuckled on the phone the whole time. I’ve known it in theory but this time it was an overwhelming and real experience. God’s word came alive!
God loves us unconditionally! That means there’s nothing we can do to stop him loving us and there’s nothing we can do to make him love us. His love is stable, unchangeable, undeserved and without limitation and when we understand how much he loves us, when we receive his love, we can only respond with love.
My son may feel sad when he is reprimanded for something he has done, but he knows his mother loves him and when he seeks comfort and affirmation, he comes to me with the full knowledge that he will receive it. At some point he will learn that it displeases me if he goes out on the balcony and because he knows I love him unconditionally, he will respond with obedience. Obedience to God’s word comes through understanding his eternal love for us. You won’t have to ‘work’ at being good.
Know the truth today. You are not unlovable! Spend time reading Scripture and meditating on Gods love through prayerful interaction with Him. That’s how I made my discovery and so can you.
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