Why (on earth) does God love us?

I’ve often wondered what some women love about the men they marry, or why parents can love awful children, or why animal owners love the ugliest pets. But then I think, why does God love us?

We are the most unloveable children. Only hours after God creates us in his image, able therefore to enter into a lovely relationship with him forever, we’re listening to the slick lies of a serpent and believing it instead. It’s like watching the daughter you love fall for the first ugly predator that turns up on the doorstep. And what does the nation that God loved and brought from nothing do? It wants to be like other nations and worship their gods instead, like teenagers who much prefer their self-centred friends to their parents.

And the rest of us? We couldn’t care less about God either (Romans 3:9-18). We were taken up with “gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts,” Ephesians 2:3. Great children we made! “We were by nature objects of wrath,” and it was only by God sending his Son that he pulled us out of our nosedive into oblivion. And even then, if it wasn’t for his constant intercession for us, we’d fall right back into the Devil’s clutches, like a child bailed out of jail by his parents’ life savings who can’t stay away from the idiots who got him into trouble in the first place. How can you love a child like that?

Yet God loves us. Why? Because he’s our Father. “Father” is who he is. Father is who he’s always been. He can’t be anything else, and he sent the child he’s been Father to forever, Jesus Christ, to tell us that. “I came to reveal the Father,” Jesus said in John 17:6, which certainly explains why God can love the likes of us, because as “the Father” he can’t help but love us! And that’s exactly what Jesus came to reveal, having experienced the Father’s love himself for eternity, verse 24.

And now it’s our turn to experience the Father’s love, and it comes to us in the most obvious, revealing and simple way: “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions,” Ephesians 2:4. In other words, he loved us at our worst. And isn’t that how a foolish, disobedient child knows he’s loved – when he realizes his parents still love him despite his utter disregard for them? And why on earth would his parents still love him? Because they’re parents. That’s what parents do. Likewise, our Father.

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