Have you ever taken the time out to consider just how much God might actually love you? If you haven’t, ponder this question for a minute. How much might an infinite God who’s very nature is love, love those in which He created in his own image and calls his own children?
Once we’ve stopped to think about it, surely we must conclude that His love for us has to be beyond all measure and comprehension.
But sadly too often when we consider God’s love for us, particularly for our own selves, we limit Him by our own performance-based mindset. We think God loves us when our behaviour is up to His standard, but as soon as we willingly stop obeying Him we suddenly conclude that we don’t deserve His love and therefore begin to believe that His love for us has ceased and has somehow been replaced with ‘righteous anger’. Unfortunately it’s a cycle that’s plagued mankind since that fateful day in the garden, when the veil of sin distorted our understanding of God’s nature, causing mankind to hide in fear and shame, as we believed yet another lie about the character of God (Genesis 3:8).
Consider this for a moment. Isn’t it a little silly of us to think that God, who is love, might have stopped loving or might have rejected the very ones in whom He calls His own children, simply because we’ve misbehaved? Wouldn’t that mean that our behaviour would had to have altered the very nature of God Himself? If this is true, then every time we begin to believe that God doesn’t love us or only partially loves us, what we’re actually confessing is that we don’t believe God is who He says He is and therefore don’t fully trust in Him.
The bible is full of examples of God’s limitless love, with one of the most beautiful stories being that of the woman that had been brought to Jesus, having been caught in the act of adultery (John 8:1-11). Here was a woman brought before God Himself, who had broken a direct commandment of Moses and under Jewish law was required to be stoned (Leviticus 20:10). I can only imagine the guilt and fear this woman would have felt as she was thrown at the feet of Jesus, whilst the multitude mocked her and demanded she be killed. But thankfully Jesus only had love on His mind. Instead of calling for the man involved to also be brought to Him, as was a requirement of the same law, He turned the accuser’s accusations back on themselves. In one simple statement He exposed the deceitfulness of their own hearts, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” One by one the crowd disappeared, both disappointed and at the same time furious with the answer that Jesus gave, until all that remained was Jesus and the woman. Then, rather than condemning and stoning her, Jesus loved her and called her into the fullness of who He’d created her to be.
If there was ever a time in which Jesus, having been justified by the law, could have condemned, shamed or even poured out His wrath upon anyone, this was it. But He didn’t. Instead Jesus chose to love her, allowing the fullness of His being to manifest before her eyes, for not even the Law of Moses could limit the fullness of God’s love for this woman.
Whilst this is just one account, there are so many more accounts of the manifestation of God’s limitless love through the life of Jesus, each recorded to help us remove the lies we’ve come to believe about Him. It’s through these accounts that we can be certain that our behaviour, reputation or social status has never influenced or limited God’s love for us and never will.
So here’s the challenge.
Imagine if we, as God’s very own children, could also love without limits. What would the world look like if our love for others wasn’t influenced by external appearances or behaviours, but was instead an accurate reflection of God Himself?
I believe that we were all created to love in this way, but also believe that the only way we can live up to our creative potential is to first know love Himself. By intentionally spending time with God in the secret place, we start to become more and more like Him, as love becomes our very nature. It’s only once we come to know God’s limitless love for us as individuals, that we can then step into the fullness of what we were created for, accurately reflecting God’s limitless love to those around us and in turn finding the life that God intended for us all to have. A life of limitless love.