“But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Years ago I sat with a couple who were preparing for marriage. The young woman ran through a lengthy list of all the reasons she could think of as to why she loved her fiance. He was generous, hard-working, handsome, thoughtful, funny, and so forth. When it was time for the young man to speak he said,” I don’t need a reason to love her. I just love her.” He was not far from the Kingdom!
When we examine the Bible it does not provide us with God’s reasons for loving. Nowhere is there an assessment of humanity from God’s vantage point where He lists our numerous virtues as reason for loving us. If anything, the Bible is a collection of evidence that suggests there is not much lovable about us. Our generous self-assessments are not reflected in the mirror of heaven. This is hard for us to take, to be sure. There must be something in me that God values, something I can do or be, some potential, at least, that God sees in me.
The key verse that says it all is this one, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” There is no expression of worth or value here that motivated God to spend Himself for us. Jesus gave Himself for the unlovely, unlovable and ungodly – for us.
Human love examines the attractive attributes of the other to look for something WORTH loving. The agape’ love of God seeks no such validation. God loves. Period. Such love is a stunning reversal of our way. Doubtless God is deeply concerned with us and all our works and all our ways, but they do not serve as the basis for His love. In Christ, God loves us for no other reason than He chooses to do so. That is His glory, and our hope.
“May the peace of god that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”