The other day I kept hearing the phrase, "God said I love you--What did you say?" As I pondered this phrase I was reminded of the many things the bible says about love - God's love toward us as well as our walking in love towards others.
I know that people's love is rather fickle. They say they love you one minute and hate you the next. Some try to buy other people's love and affection. I guess the one thing I see the most is people attaching strings to their love. "If you love me you would do this thing for me." Some try to control and manipulate by giving or withholding love from their spouses, friends, etc.
I am so glad that God's love is not fickle. His love is unconditional and it is constant. There are no strings attached to His love. He loves you the same whether you are being obedient to Him or if you are off in disobedience. Granted, when we are disobedient or in some kind of sin He is not pleased with our behavior, but His love for us stays the same.
Keep in mind that unconditional love is out to give and not out to get. A fine example of this is found in 1 John 4:9-11. It says, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
In this passage we are told love is that God loved us and gave us His son when we didn't even love God. He gave Jesus, His Son, the way of salvation, without our asking. Just think about that for a minute. People could have refused salvation and God still would have sent Jesus anyway. He did it regardless of the outcome. He did it because He loves us!
Luke 2:10 says, "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." The good tidings were for all, not just a select few. They were given unconditionally to all regardless of whether or not they would accept the good tidings. In Luke 2:14 we are told, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Jesus was given out of God’s love as a token of His good will.
Even after meditating on all of this I still wondered why I kept getting this phrase, "God said I love you ...What did you say?" It finally dawned on me what God was trying to get across to me. God has spoken out that he loved us and has shown it through His actions and deeds. He wants us to remember to love him unconditionally.
It seems to me God is saying to the church, "You have been following my word and walking in love toward others, and loving your neighbor as yourself, but you need to get back to loving me with all your heart, soul, and mind." I get the impression that we have forgotten to spend time with God just loving on Him.
What do I mean by loving on Him? We fellowship with God through reading and meditating on His word, by praising and thanking Him for who He is. To love on God is doing those things plus just getting into His presence to spend time with Him - time where you aren't asking for or needing anything. A time where you can love on Him and He can love on you. God does enjoy spending time with us. I'm sure you have probably seen the plaque that has a letter that was supposedly written by Jesus to each of us. It talks about how He watched us get up and go through our day, watching and waiting for us to spend time with Him and yet we didn't.
I believe the Lord wants us to keep walking in love toward others and to remember to walk in love toward Him, too! Yes! That's right I said walk in love toward Him. He said "I love you" to each of us. Now what did we say back? We may have said I love you, but did our actions back that up? Or did we only spend time with Him when we wanted something from Him? Do we spend time with God when we are having problems and then forget to spend time with Him when things are going good? God wants us to love Him unconditionally. We need to spend time loving Him regardless of our situation.
I want to encourage you to spend more time fellowshipping with the Lord - especially time where you just get into His presence wanting nothing more than to be with Him. I believe that we all need to do more of that. I also believe that it will be of great benefit to us because of the time we are living in.
God said, "I love you!" What do you and your actions say? I pray that from this day forward all of our actions and our words say, "I love you too!"