by Calven Celliers
One morning this week I watched as my beautiful little Livvy played in the garden. She lovingly explored all the different flowers, a wide variety of colours, shapes, sizes, and scents. As she stood and gently inspected some white daisies, I was reminded of a childhood game that many of you are no doubt familiar with … He (or she) loves me; He loves me not!
As you hold a daisy in your hand, you slowly pull off one petal at a time saying, “He (or she) loves me; he loves me not. He loves me; he loves me not.” With each proclamation of your heart throbs love for you (or their non-love for you), you pull another petal from the poor little flower. As you know, the point of this silly game is to arrive at the final petal on a “He loves me!” because that is of course the universal “sign” that the other person actually loves you.
As we mature and grow, we all realise that this game is quite ridiculous and naturally childish, yet I cannot help but think that in some ways many Christians still play it! Somewhere along the way we’ve reduced God’s love to something as random as hoops we must jump through in the hope of earning God’s love.
Christianity is, to the best of my knowledge, the only world religion where someone (Jesus) comes along and pays the penalty for you. Other religions focus on what you have do to earn your salvation, while Christianity is about what Christ has done on your behalf that guarantees your salvation. Many Christians, however, don’t live in the reality of this acceptance and grace, instead they portray a story based on performance and conformity. The path of trying to please God and earn His love is a tiresome system incapable to change human lives but tragically capable of exhausting and devastating them. When I think about all of the mistakes that I’ve made, and how I’ve made a right royal mess of things at times, I sigh a sigh of grateful thanks to God for taking my brokenness and shame and breathing restoration and redemption into it.
“God won’t stop loving us when we mess up. The central message of the Bible is this: God doesn’t love you because of who you are or what you’ve done but because of who He is and what He has done.” (Rick Warren)
Being secure in the love of God for you is essential to healthy Christian living. God’s love is fundamental to our identity as His children, because if we aren’t rooted and grounded in the unconditional love of God, we will be like untethered buoys being tossed about in the sea. It may seem elementary that God loves you, but there is no force more powerful than the love our heavenly Father has for us, His children. So great is His love for you and me that He sent His only Son to die that we might live through Him.
In the Gospel of John 17: 25 & 26 Jesus makes a statement about how great the depth of God’s love is for us:
“25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17: 25 – 26ESV)
Do you fully comprehend that God loves you the way He loves Jesus? There is nothing you can do that will ever make God love you any more, or any less. His love for you is complete! You don’t have to work for His affection. You don’t have to get your act together before God can pour out His love over you. The father in the prodigal son story ran out to meet his son before anything had ever been set right. He didn’t know his son was there to apologize. He didn’t care. He simply wanted to love his child. Our heavenly Father feels exactly the same way about us.
God loves YOU!
Have an awesome day,