This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10 (NIV)
Why should God love me?
“If you really knew me… knew what was in my life behind the front that I put up … If you really knew me (I suppose God knows me like that) you wouldn’t expect God to love me.”
It’s not a real quote but I have heard a version of that comment many times as a pastor.
The way we see ourselves and the way God sees us, are not the same. The way we value ourselves and the way God values us are not the same.
We work on the premise that our relationship with God works like the way we get to know anyone else. God has to get to know us, and hopefully He will see some things He likes and over time, become warm to us.
Wrong. God loved and accepted us first.
He may not love and accept all our attitudes or behaviour… but He created us and sent His Son Jesus to be the “atoning sacrifice”, to pay the high price to make things right for us.
Is this automatic? The fact of God’s love for us is not a maybe — that’s established. What is not automatic is our love for God, and our acceptance of Jesus for who He is. That requires us to make a choice!
We agree with Jesus about who He is and what He has done in our behalf. What He did was costly. Our decision also has a cost to it – the cost of our independence, of giving someone else a higher place in our lives. But now we realise the extent of God’s love for us that was there all along. We just had to make our move, to receive it.
As the Passion Translation puts it:
“This is love: He loved us long before we loved Him. It was His love, not ours. He proved it by sending His Son to be the pleasing sacrificial offering to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:10 TPT