God Isn't Forced to Love You
You know what it’s like to be forced to be nice to people or to show them love simply because that’s what's expected of you. Maybe it’s that one relative who doesn’t smell so good, but you have to hug her anyway so you can get your birthday present. Or sometimes there’s a kid who’s kind of mean at school, but because your parents are friends, you have to spend time with him on the weekends.
In your heart you know you don’t actually like these people at all, and you’re just faking it to be nice.
So when we think about our God’s love, it’s even more amazing. The Bible tells us, “Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God’s love for us” (Romans 5:8). God wasn’t nice to us because we brought him a present. He wasn’t nice to us because he was forced to. Instead, he chose to like us even when deep down we didn’t like him. While we were still stinky sinners and still mean by nature, God came up with a plan to show us how much he loves us. Even while we were enemies, he sent Jesus for us.
Now because of what he has done for us, we get to love him back. He doesn’t force us. Instead, “we love because God loved us first” (1 John 4:19).
Dear Father, thank you for loving me even though my sin made me unlovable. Because of what Jesus did for me, my sins are forgiven and I am your child. Amen.