The Way I See It, A Pastor’s Perspective

Southaven,MS

God’s Amazing Love

When you hear someone say “God loves you”, do you smile and heartily agree with them? Or does doubt immediately creep in? Do you shrug off their statement, believing that it’s just a tired cliche? Do you, like almost everyone around you, have trouble accepting the fact that He does love you? Are you one who is convinced that He couldn’t possibly love you? Do you feel, as I did for so many years, that you may be the only one He DOESN’T love??

Why is it so hard for us to accept the fact that He truly does love us? Well, in part it has to do with the way WE love.

With the exception of our family members, we usually love conditionally.

We love, for the most part, as long as it will benefit us or doesn’t harm us. We love when a person receives our love and is grateful for that love. Sometimes we only love when loved in return. Of course, there are those people who can truly love everyone. You know them….they have a heart of gold and they just ooze sugary love! Chances are you’re not one of them though. For those of us mere mortals who aren’t so very sweet, loving everyone can be a real challenge!

Think of a soft cuddly puppy or kitten or other adorable little fuzzy animal of cuteness. When we first see them most of us will instantly love them and want to hold them and cuddle with them. We ooh and ahh over them and giggle as they lick and snuggle. We are in love!! But take that same little adorable object of love and watch our reaction if they bite us or wet on us or act as though we’re the enemy and try to get away from us! We would just as soon set them down. We no longer love them as we did at first sight. We’re done and we reject them. That’s just who we are and that’s usually how we love. We love on the strict condition that the object of our love remains cute, loving and faithful. That’s all we know to do. And yes, we do it with fellow humans too.

As examples, consider someone we may find very attractive. Or someone who is always kind to us. Or perhaps someone who is always bragging about us to others. We can easily love those people. We like being around them. We feel better about ourselves in their company.
But on the other hand, if a person crosses us or is ugly to us or is simply a mean and bitter person, we really struggle to love them. As a matter of fact, we would rather not have anything to do with them. We can love them better from a distance. With some people, a GREAT distance.

The worst component of our behavior regarding the way we love is that we take the conditional way in which WE love, and we try and apply that same human trait to God and the way that HE loves. We feel He must be just like us and that He loves us in the same manner in which we love others. We believe He must have trouble loving us if we’re not perfect. We feel He probably tolerates us rather than truly loves us, because after all, that’s how we love. We do tend to simply tolerate others. We may feel that He is putting up with us because He is obligated. He would rather set us down and go play with someone cuter or prettier or smarter and more spiritual. We believe that God loves like we do. We could not be more wrong!!

God doesn’t love us conditionally at all. Think of the love you have for your son or daughter or parent or spouse. Now remove any feelings you may have in your heart that aren’t simply the purest feelings of love toward them. Strip away all your emotions toward them that don’t have anything to do with an innocent and perfect love. For just a moment, love them deeply without any condition or reservation attached. Now multiply those feelings a thousand times and you will begin to get a glimpse of the purity and depth of God’s love for you!

I have stated this before, so many times, but God’s love for you is not based on how lovable you are!! He doesn’t love you because you are lovable! He loves you because He exudes love!! He loves you deeply without condition because that is who He is. A Creator who loves you more deeply than even you love yourself. He IS love! His love has no parameters or borders. It has no limit. It has no expiration date.
He loves you with a love that can never be compared to the temporary and conditional love we grant to those around us.

God wrote the book on love, literally! We are able to love puppies and kittens and babies and music and sunsets and each other and life itself because of Him and what He has instilled in us!
We must put away forever the concept that God loves us like we love others. He is nothing like us in that regard. He even stated in Isaiah 55:8 that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He loves you in ways you can never imagine, but you can try!

Try to imagine you are like that adorable little puppy or kitten to God, and He just can’t wait to be with you! It’s true! So the next time someone says “God loves you”, smile and say ” I know, right? Isn’t it amazing that He does?” And He truly does. So, accept it, walk in it, and spread the good news. You are loved!! Really!!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike