He loves me, He loves me not...

God’s love never fails ~ Psalm 136 {CEV}

I remember as a little girl how I loved to pick flowers & play the game “he loves me, he loves me not”.  You know the one where you pick a petal & say “he loves me”, then on the next petal you say “he loves me not”, and so it goes until all the petals are gone.  The problem happened when I seemed to always get to the last petal with the words “he loves me not”.  Though it was just a silly game, it always ended with a small sadness in the depth of my soul & the feeling that I was unloved. 

When I grew up, I realized I was carrying this game in my heart and I was playing it with God.   As a child I was taught that grace, not works, keeps us in relationship with God but somehow through all the religious rhetoric I had come to believe that being a “good girl” meant if I did something that frustrated or angered God, then I fell out the reach of His love for a time until I could do something good again.   This way of thinking places the responsibility on me to make sure our relationship {mine & God’s} is in right standing by my behavior, when the fact is, it is His behavior, His character that keeps our relationship in tact. {Colossians 1:17}

God’s love for me depends on His perfection, not mine. 

His love never fails.  Even when I fail, God in His character cannot.  He can’t stop loving me because He is love.  He can’t be mad at me because I am His own.  He can’t leave me because He promised not to & He never breaks His promises.

Of course, because we love Him we want to do right but too often we let our hearts be tied to our performance instead of to His.  Jesus came & died & rose again so that we could forever be in uninhibited relationship with God.  Nothing we do can change that.  But we are taught all our lives that if we “do good” or “behave” we will earn the love of others. 

Then one day I read this verse:

Absolutely nothing can get between us & God’s love because of the way that Jesus has embraced us {Romans 8:39 MSG}

Nothing.  Not my bad choices, not my failures, not even those sins that keep creeping up even when I determine to “get it right next time”.   

These are some things I remind myself of as I walk freely in God’s love:

God loves me because Christ was condemned for my sin ~ None of us are immune to sin.  At some point in life we all mess up.  We are in fact weak humans, however God never fails & turning to Him for strength will eventually lead to successes in His power.  We need to ask Him to show us how to grow & live a life free of condemnation.  Condemnation never comes from God.  He does not condemn the one He has already set free.  Satan is the accuser & he schemes against the children of God.  {Romans 8:1, 2 Corinthians 2:11}

God’s grace is big enough for my sin ~  Believing that I somehow have to earn back God’s favor after a failure is really just pride welling up in my heart.  Sometimes the thought that I still have to be a “good girl” in order for my daddy to forget what I did creeps into my head.  However, He “remembers our sins no more”.  It’s that simple.  Ask & forgiveness is granted.  Just like an earthly parent is moved to compassion for their children, our heavenly Father can’t help but be tender when He looks at His children.  His grace covers a multitude of sins & there is nothing we can do, or not do, to change that.  {John 1:16, Hebrews 8:12}

God’s love for me is positional not conditional ~  Because I am a child of God, I am in a position to be loved.  Because Jesus Christ resides in me, God views me as His own just as He views Jesus.  There is nothing that can change that; I cannot take off the blood of Christ that has washed me clean.  When we look in a mirror we should not see our own reflection but that of Christ.  {Romans 5:8-9, Galatians 2:20}

Do you embrace God’s unconditional love for you?  Is there an area where you need to accept God’s unconditional love & stop trying to earn it?  His love for you isn’t based on your performance; it is based on Christ’s.