God’s love is not for sale. Yet, many of us are still trying to buy His love. It has still not sunk in that God loves us not on the basis of what we do or what we ever could do, but because of whom He is. If God’s love was based on what we do, then why would He have sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins while we were in the depths of our depravity to reconcile us to Him?
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”
– Ephesians 2:4 – 5
The truth is that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus (see Romans 8:38 – 39). Nothing means nothing – nothing we think, feel, say, or do, no amount of works – absolutely nothing! Rather than try to buy God’s love, our aim should be to experience the fullness of His love. Our ability to experience the fullness of His love – his saving power, his riches, covenant blessing and much more – depends on how much we love Him and not how much He loves us.
Light-bulb moment: God’s love is not for sale. The extent to which we experience the fullness of His love depends on one fundamental question. How much do we love God?
Everything that we do – including our obedience and works – should come out of love for God. If it does not, God is not pleased. How do we know this? Well, the bible says that it is impossible to please God without faith (see Hebrews 11:6), and since faith works through love (see Galatians 5:6); anything that we do that does not come out a loving heart does not please God.
Therefore, when we say we are showing our faith by what we do (see James 2:18), that faith is not pleasing to God unless it comes from a heart of love. I want to make it clear that our hearts (not our works) has to be aligned with the heart of God. When our heart is aligned with God’s heart and we take action (do things) to bring Him glory in love, then we unleash the riches of the glory of His inheritance in us (see Ephesians 1: 18).
Let me further explain: The bible says that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Why you ask? This is because whoever seeks Him (in study of His Word and Prayer) will find Him (see Matthew 7:7). When we find God, we find love for He is love (see 1 John 4:8). As we begin to grow in the knowledge of His love (which comes as we seek Him more), then our love for Him grows (see 1 John 4:8). As our love for Him grows, our faith in Him grows. It is this faith that works through love that leads to obedience, and it is obedience that unlocks the covenant blessings that Jesus has made available to us through His sacrifice on the cross.
With that being said, anything we say we do for God that is not out of love is mainly out of three things: fear, pride, and selfishness. God is not pleased with that no matter how good it looks to man. For example, if I give to charity only to lower my taxes and not because I have a heart for the hurting (which is God’s heart), I have acted for selfish gain. Man may be pleased with what I have done, but God is not. While we can fool other people, we cannot fool God. He sees beyond our actions and into our heart intentions.
So I am not saying that we should not give to charity because our hearts is not right! Instead, what I am saying is that we should always be cognizant of our heart intentions so that we may ask God to change our hearts as necessary.
Here are two questions I now often ask myself and I think are good questions to ask:
- Are my actions based on what God has placed in my heart or is it to please man or achieve a selfish need?
- Am I obeying just to tick the box of obedience to the law (so to buy God’s favor and blessings) or is my obedience coming out of genuine love?
When we experience God’s love, we stop fearing and then are free to love God with all our hearts.
Food for Thought: I put myself in bondage of the law when I try to buy love that is freely available