I have had the wonderful privilege of telling many people the wonderful truth that there is nothing they could do that would cause God to love them any more than He already loves them and there is nothing they could do that would cause Him to love them any less than He already loves them. This truth in Christ is freeing and life transforming.
God’s unconditional love needs clarifying for we live in a day when it is greatly misunderstood. When we say God loves us unconditionally we mean that God’s love cannot be earned by our actions. The Bible says, “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).Therefore, God doesn’t love us after we’ve changed. He loves us before we change...when we were powerless to change. This is the nature of His love.
So how does God’s loving heart respond when we as His people sin? A quote from Max Lucado says it well.
“God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus. ” ― Max Lucado
Jesus’ statement to the woman caught in adultery is a perfect example of this truth.
(Jesus) said to her...“Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11
In love Jesus said, “I do not condemn you.” And in love He said, “Go and sin no more.”
God’s love is vast and deep and strong! He loves us with an everlasting love. But don’t let anyone tell you that His love means He is “okay” with us living our lives the way we desire even when it disagrees with His moral will. His love wants what is best for us therefore He cannot condone our sin for He knows that all sin is destructive. And He didn’t come to destroy us. He came to save us.
He instructs us to love the way He does.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9
“Love...does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:6
Therefore let us love enough to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to one another and recognize that the world’s message of tolerance and “live and let live” is not love at all. "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." (Hebrews 10:24).