I often struggle with really believing in God’s love for me. I’ve come to grips that God doesn’t love me because I’m lovely, but His love is what transforms me to be more of who I’m supposed to be.
God’s love precedes our worth. His love is actually what provides our value. He will not withhold his affection while he waits for you to earn it. God loves you right now. He even likes you right now. God does not offer an unaffectionate devotion with a resentful disposition. His love is forever an eager infatuation.
God has never loved you more than he does right now, and God could never love you more than he does right now.
God doesn’t love the next version of yourself. He adores the current model. While Jesus is the perfect Son of God, the Father’s heart is revealed at his baptism as he bellows from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you, I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). Before it was ever recorded that Jesus preached a sermon, befriended a sinner, or addressed a need, God loved him. God’s love wasn’t based upon Jesus’ ministry track record, and it is no different from his love for you. He is not waiting for you to provide a catalyst for his love.
When my daughter was a toddler, she was a stuffed animal hoarder. The more she received, the more she wanted, and she had enough family members and friends who were eager to supply her with an unending arsenal of pink fluffiness. Some nights I would check on her sleeping only to have to dig through furry friends just to make sure she was still in there. Despite all the expensive and fancy stuffed animals that she had been given, she had an inseparable favorite. Violet the Wolf went with her everywhere. This tiny varmint was clothed with pink and purple.
Violet wasn’t the most elaborate or the most expensive, but it was her absolute favorite. Among all the other animals and dolls, Violet was her consistent companion. That’s what made the tragedy all the more critical. I was alerted at work one day that Violet had gone missing. Unsure of her whereabouts, my daughter was inconsolable. Distracting her with another toy did not work. Committing to buy a replacement did not suffice. She wanted Violet, and she could not rest until she was reunited with Violet.
As I retraced her steps through parking lots, van seats, and visited locations, I almost quit. I thought the search was hopeless. Much to my surprise, I finally found the tiny wolf. Nestled among other items in a lost-and-found, Violet stared at me as if she wondered what took me that long. The doll on her left was more expensive. The toy on her right had more impressive features. But among items of higher quality, Violet had superior worth. She was not superior due to her quality but the quality of the one who loved her.
If you have ever felt as if you are not worthy of the love of God, I can relate. I realize that I don’t possess a worth that deserves love, yet my worth comes from the fact that I am loved by God.
My value comes not from my quality but from the quality of the one who loves me.
God loves me with an unrelenting and unashamed love. Do you struggle with insecurity? Your heart will find its remedy in the center of God’s love. “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zeph. 3:17).
With rowdy serenading and boisterous dancing, God quiets my anxious soul by proving to be the giddy Father who loves me just the way I am. He isn’t dancing because of anticipation of who you will become but due to an acknowledgment of who you already are.
Many people follow the Chutes and Ladders God. We reckon that God depends on our ethical integrity to determine how he should best deal with us.
While we all claim to have a standard of right and wrong, that justification can only come from God. If God exists, and I believe He does, then He is the only one with the right and responsibility to determine what justice is.