We Christians know that God loves us. So much so, that ninety percent of us take God's love for granted. Face it, Christian, you take God's love for granted. You've heard so many times that God loves you, no matter what you do, that His love for you is firmly stuck into your consciousness. You take it for granted, because it is. It is granted. It is a gift, and you don't deserve it. You recognize that fact, but does your attitude reflect it?
I believe that our greatest failing is probably this: our attitude toward God fails to reflect our thankfulness that God continues to love us, despite our own wretched brokenness.
We recognize, and we realize God's love for us, but we so eagerly forget what it takes for God to maintain that love—as though it requires no effort on His part. Do you think it's easy for God to love you? Have you, Christian, lost sight of just how unloveable you are? Probably. It is our tendency. We see the value God has placed on our souls, and we begin to think highly of ourselves. We think we are worth something, but we forget our utter worthlessness, apart from the redemptive work that Christ accomplished on our behalf at the Cross of Calvary.
Christians should recognize, and always remember, that apart from the sacrifice of Christ, "I am nothing. I am a worm." Let's remember this, shall we?
As an author and a preacher, I can easily find real profundity in my ideas, and I can easily forget. I can easily forget the abject poverty of my ideas, were they not inspired by the Holy Spirit of God Almighy, who has somehow seen fit to simply use me for His purposes. God loves me, and I don't know why, except that He honors the sacrifice that His Son made on my behalf.
This is the connection that every other faith lacks. Men speak words of wisdom, all of which are weighed in the balance of human evaluation. Some seem to endure, at least for a time. But all will eventually be weighed in God's balance. I wish only for my words to endure. This will only come about to the extent to which they (my words) are aligned with those of God, Himself.
But this I know: apart from Christ, I am nothing. I am a small, insignificant blip on the radar of human history; an insignificant transient abberation. But in Christ, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."
Building my business, training my children, admonishing my wife, loving my wife, loving my children, I am nothing—apart from Christ. Left to myself, I am nothing.
But I so readily forget why God loves me. Let us now remember: God loves us not because of any virtue within ourselves, but because of His virtue, and because He has decided to love us. Let me repeat myself: God loves us because of HIS VIRTUE, and because HE HAS DICIDED TO. It is God's resolve that sustains His love for us, and not our own loveliness. God loves us only because He has decided to do so.
Do you enjoy God's blessings? Good. You should do so. Only remember the source. God is no respector of men. He rains His blessings down upon those who do not deserve them, simply out of love. It is God who loves us. God is love.
Rremember, Christian, God's blessings come not due to your merit, but due only to God's love. I am therefore compelled to love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my strength. At the end of the day, and at the end of my life, I pray only for this simple epitaph: Eric loved God.