Matthew 5:44-45 | John 9 | Romans 5:8, 8:35
If you are reading this, God loves you.*
This can be tough to grasp: God’s love is NOT dependent on your performance or even your love for him. Why? Because God loves everyone.
Jesus tells us:
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.(Matthew 5:44-45 NLT)
Even if you are God’s enemy, he loves you. God not only loves his enemies, he cares for them. He gives you what you need to live–food, clothing, shelter…every breath you breathe.
Sometimes you might feel like the man who was born blind. You suffer under circumstances for which you have no responsibility. You may ask, “Who messed up and made this happen?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”(John 9:3 NLT)
Nobody sinned, but the guy is blind since birth? Hard to swallow, isn’t it. If God were to ask you to be blind so that he could display some great works, how would you reply?
Nobody wants to be born blind, but certainly lots of people want to be used to show God’s love. Could it be that some of your circumstances are blind-since-birth type things? Can you let God use those circumstances to show his love?
God’s love for you is completely unconditional. In a way, Job’s horrific testing (losing his ten sons and daughters, having painful sores all over, etc.) serves to show us the less intuitive side of God’s unconditional love. This is the side that says God allows bad things to happen to those who love him–the same way he allows bad things to happen to his enemies.
What does this mean? It means that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, God loves you. A lot. And this brings us to the best part of God’s great No Matter What kind of love: that we can’t mess it up.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.(Romans 5:8 NLT)
No matter what you do and no matter what happens to you, God loves you. He proved it by sending his son to pay for our sins. If we accept God’s gift of Jesus Christ, nothing is too much for us to overcome.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? […] No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.(Romans 8:35,37 NLT)
Does God still love you? That’s an overwhelming, victorious yes.
* Whether you’re reading this or not, God loves you. Only…if you are not reading this, who is?! (Cue mysterious music…)
Questions for Group Discussion
- Have you ever wondered if God still loved you? When? Why?
- Can you make God love you more? Are there things you can do to get a little extra heavenly love?
- Is it true to say that God’s blessings and God’s love are different things? Does God bless those who love him more than those who don’t? Does God bless those who keep his commandments more than those who don’t?
Application: Love vs. Obedience
Is there a difference between loving God and keeping his commandments? Answering that question is what we’re doing.
Read the following scripture passages then write down your answer.
- Deuteronomy 10:12-14
- John 14:15, 21, 23-24
- Matthew 7:24-27