(Photo: Preaching Rocket via The Christian Post)
1 John 4:16-21
God's love is an everlasting gift. We can do nothing either to deserve it or to cut it off. The Father's love simply is; no amount of good or bad work causes it to change. What's more, we must realize that when we try to pay someone back for a gift freely given, we frustrate the giver and reveal our own lack of self-worth.
As long as we feel we must deserve the Father's love, we cannot fully experience it. Believers can be so busy trying to do something lovable that they fail to think about being still and simply allowing God's nature to settle their mind and heart. And what is His nature? God is not simply loving; the Scriptures tell us that He is love (1 John 4:16).
In addition, God's love is sacrificial-the kind that puts aside one's own desires in order to meet the needs of the beloved. In our case, the need is salvation. We are sinners, incapable on our own of relating to a holy God. Divine justice required payment for our sin debt. And yet, to express His love while staying true to His justice, God determined that a substitute would pay the penalty in our place. And so He sent His Son to die on the cross; there, Jesus was allowed to endure the agony of separation from His Father. As a result, everyone who trusts in the Savior's sacrifice never has to experience His pain.
God has loved you since before you were born-so much so that 2,000 years ago, He sent His Son Jesus to die in your place. Stop trying to earn the gift that is already yours. Instead, follow this command: "Cease striving and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10).