Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Completely Unreasonable Love

No one objects to hearing about God's love, do they? All of us draw tremendous comfort from Scriptures that assure us that He is a loving Father Who desires to shower us with mercy, grace and blessing. I know I depend on His love for me, fully aware that I can't live without it. Even if I could live without it, however, I wouldn't want such a lonely experience.

The Lord's love for me doesn't make sense, although I used to flatter myself that He saw something in me that attracted His attention. As I've grown in my understanding of His Word, I find it increasingly impossible to believe my self-flattery because too many passages insist on human depravity. Intellectual honesty forces me to accept the Bible's assessment that, when left to my own devises, I unwaveringly gravitate toward sin, making myself completely repugnant to Someone as holy as He. And my obvious unworthiness of Him highlights the startling wonder that He loves me.

Most people don't really like hearing that He loves us in spite of our innate wretchedness. We want to bask in His love, certainly, but we also want to buoy our self-esteem by finding (or inventing) reasons that we merit  His love. We desperately want God to love us because we are inherently worthy, not because He is wholly generous and good.

But the very fact that we have no way of making ourselves loveable to Him helps us recognize the beauty and outrageous generosity of His love. He takes us out of the world for reasons that baffle us, and He boldly refers to us as His children. We see no cause for Him to love us. No reason that He should adopt us as His children. Yet the sheer unreasonableness of His love for us brings us into heartfelt worship.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. ~~1 John 3:1 (ESV)
The Lord had no reason to show me His love...at least, not as far as I can see. Nothing in me warrants His kindness and favor, and I have no ability to make myself beautiful to Him. The very fact that He chooses to love me with no provocation on my part causes me to love Him in return, joyously grateful that He would show me the grace of loving me.

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