Read John 3:16-17
16-17 This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. (THE MESSAGE)
One of the commonly expressed half-truths of Christianity is that we are utterly unworthy of the grace of God. Grace is seen as so wonderful because we are so wretched. The truth of this is that we cannot claim right relationship with God because of our good works and general decency. We do not deserve to be accepted by God because of any merits in our character. Grace, after all, is a gift rather than a reward.
However, this can lead us to think that we have no worth, no value before God. It is as if he has acted to save some worthless items of rubbish because he has pity on them. Not so. Our text reminds us that God loves those who oppose him and who lack the will to go his way. (The ‘world’ described here is the world seen as human society in opposition to God rather than the created natural world).
God didn’t make junk when he made human beings. Even in our imperfections we still bear his image and are objects of his love. We are, in other words, worth saving, worth having Jesus die for us. This need not lead to pride: God didn’t have to act to rescue us. We are utterly unable to please him because we do some worthwhile things.
His grace is not meant to shame us by reminding us of how horrible we are. It is meant to remind us that while we are unable to relate to him as we are, even so he wants that relationship, and that he is doing something about making it possible.
Our value is not in the things we do but in the essential people we are. Much loved by God and much in need of that love.