March 6, 2020
In the Father’s House
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:1-4).
Last year, I went on a mission trip to the Czech Republic with the youth. Every evening a Bible story was told, the last of which was the parable of the lost son. The upshot of a part of the parable was that God accepts us to be a part of his heavenly family, even though we have all turned away from him. One of the reactions I heard was surprise: Why would God still love us so muchafter we'd completely rejected him? Why would he send his Son to die for us on the cross, especially since none of us deserve it? I wrestled with this question. He had a good point. We are such sinful creatures and have nothing to offer him. Why would he love us?
To answer this, we have to look at what we think “deserving love” means. For us, love is generally rooted in a kind of give and take. We give love to someone we care about and, let’s be honest, we expect it back as well. We normally only really love someone if we think they deserve our love, if we receive something back from them: perhaps kindness, affirmation, a good laugh, help, or even material goods.
God's love for us is fundamentally different. It is not rooted in a give and take. It is unconditional. Even when we reject him, deny him or otherwise sin, he still loves us. That is why he sent his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that our sins can be forgiven. So that the doors to his house would be opened to us. So that we can become part of his family and share in his great inheritance ─ eternal life.
So, what is the answer to my Czech friend's question? Why does God really love us unconditionally? There is no answer. We do not deserve it. It is incomprehensible why God would love us so much.
However, this showing of his love requires a response. He asks us to receive his Son, Jesus, to repent of our sins and to love him and others (regardless of whether they love us back) as he first loved us.
Prayer:Heavenly Father, thank you for the undeserved gift that is your love ─ your Son’s death and thus our adoption as your children. I pray that this love you share with us may overflow, that we may love you and our neighbors. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.