God loves us, yes, but what makes us loveable?

We know God loves us, because he “demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8. And it was “when we were God’s enemies that we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son,” verse 10. And it was “because of his great love for us that God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions,” Ephesians 2:5-6. What better way could God have proved his love for us than Jesus dying for us at our worst?

OK, so we’re loved, but what makes us loveable? What turns us from being rabid enemies of God to actually becoming really nice children of his? What does he deeply appreciate in us? We know it’s not trying to win his favour by good works, or trying to impress him with how pious we are, or by how many rituals, disciplines and rites we perform, but what “IS to my Father’s glory,” Jesus said, is “that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples,” John 15:8. That’s clear: what makes us loveable to the Father is when we follow his Son. And Jesus adds a note of affection of his own to that when he says, “You re my friends if you do what I command,” verse 14. Follow Jesus and he loves us to bits too, verse 10.

So how do we follow Jesus? We do what he commands, just as he did what his Father commanded him. So what does Jesus command us to do? “Love each other as I have loved you,” verse 12. It’s all about love: God loves Jesus, Jesus loves us as God loves him, and we love each other as Jesus loves us. And this is clearly what the Father loves because “all of what I’m telling you,” Jesus says, “I learned from the Father,” verse 15. Father and Son, they love us to bits when we love each other. And to show how much our Father appreciates us loving each other he’ll give us whatever we ask for in Jesus’ name, verse 16.

It’s only just dawning on me, then, what kind of relationship we’ve got with the Father when we follow his Son. We are totally loveable to him. I realize that Jesus has to live his love in us for us to be loveable, but we can rest assured that even if just the desire is there in us to love others, we are utterly loveable to the Father. And knowing we’re loveable, as well as loved, is where our joy comes from, verse 11.

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