But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (NLT)
The word “love” is thrown around a lot. It can involve anything from munching on a chocolate bar, to sleeping in, to sexual passion, to caring for a sick child. Human love has many dimensions and is not always easy to define.
When it comes to the love God has for us, we also have a problem with definition and understanding. God loves us whether we are good or bad, whether we are useful to him or not. His love for us is not based on our performance, our merit, our attractiveness. And this may not always sink in with we humans who experience love as some sort of reward for our conduct or our attractiveness.
We speak of the grace of God and how we cannot earn his love. But it is so hard to truly grasp it given that much of human life is not like this. We are brought up recognising that if we are good we have a better chance of being loved. And confronted with a holy and perfect God, we figure he might turn his back on us if we turn our back on him.
We need to look to Jesus and his acceptance of those who were far from loveable. Jesus is walking, talking proof of God’s great love for us. I might spurn his love and fail to enjoy it, but he still loves me. I falter in my love for him, but he goes on loving me anyway. The fact that God loves me and that Jesus proves it is the bottom line of my faith and life. I may not understand it, but I believe it.