Greatly Loved

Todd Stiles   -  

God does what he does because of who he is. His character always informs his actions.

Not only does this mean God operates fully and eternally in perfect and righteous ways, but it further means God isn’t leveraged or manipulated by outside forces. This does not mean God isn’t moved or touched by our condition. Rather, that because our condition and situation is known by God, and because he is who he is, he responds to us on the basis of his own essence, not on the basis of our exertion.

This is clearly seen in many Scriptures, where we are told God moves and acts on our behalf out of his own character, not because of our conduct. Notice just a few of the more obvious ones and let them warm your heart for a moment:

Ephesians 2:4-5
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 5:8
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

A more obscure reference to this same theological truth is found in Daniel. In fact, three times we see the phrase “you are greatly loved” (9:23, 10:11, 10:23), indicating that each time God gifted Daniel with divine insight into visions and mysteries, it wasn’t due to anything Daniel did. Instead, it was solely because of God’s great affection for Daniel.

How reassuring and comforting to know that God bestows his blessings on us because he has made us his beloved. That’s right—the action is all God’s from start to finish. Whatever gifts and good we receive, it is due to the lavish grace of God.

Rejoice today, my fellow recipient of God’s undeserved yet displayed kindness, that “every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above” (James 1:17), and live in light of the unconditional love and favor of our Lord. Yes, you, too, are greatly loved!

Pastor Todd