I’d like to relate a brief story to illustrate a profound point:
Life is like that also. All too often we try to do things to earn God’s favor but that is like pushing on the wagon. We have things backwards. We already have His favor.
We think we have to read the Bible, pray often, tithe, don’t swear, etc. These are all good things but they are not the key thing.
So, what is the key thing? What is the Rosetta Stone that unlocks and makes everything else fall into place? What pulls on the wagon instead of pushing? It is so simple yet so incredibly profound. It is knowing that God loves us individually with an infinite love. If we understand that with our hearts (as well as our minds) everything else makes sense. God really loves me. Me!
I may not feel loveable because of all my faults, failures, and ugly thoughts, but He sees me as if I were perfect because Jesus died to make me “acceptable”—that is “without spot or blemish.”
Gratefully accepting His warm love causes me to want to love Him back; it causes me to want to read His Word to get to know Him better; it causes me to want to please Him; it causes me to love others. I don’t do these things anymore to earn His favor; I do them out of gratitude and enthusiasm—not obligation.
Romans 8 makes it absolutely clear that nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love.
Understanding His infinite love for each of us makes all the rest of doctrine fall into place:
- Why did God create us? Because of His love. He wanted someone to pour His love on.
- Why did eternal Jesus come to earth as a man? Because of His love.
- Why did He send the Holy Spirit to indwell us? Because of His love.
- Why do we have the gifts of the Spirit? Because of His love.
- Why is He preparing us to be with Him in Heaven? Because of His love. He loves us so much He wants to be with us forever!
If we focus on His love for us, we will rejoice forever. No more pushing on the wagon.