Thursday, December 11, 2014

God’s Love and the Price of Sin

by M. J. Joachim

God loves all people. That goes without saying for those who know Him. However, His love is dependent on our response to the love and grace we receive. St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Catholic Church, states, “For some, it is not easy to be one’s true self. We would like to be our true self. However, many of us, and we won’t admit it, wear a mask and act contrary to the way God would have us act due to weakness and sin.”

Sin separates people from God. As much as He loves us, God never condones our sins. It is up to us to make atonement for them, not only because through our repentance, we are unified with God, but also because in doing so, we develop our friendship with Him. Friendship is a dynamic process, one that grows through different stages in our lives. Some friendships flourish for long periods of time. Others last but a moment.

So it is with our response to God’s love. We are loved by God without question, and that love intensifies, bearing fruit in our lives, if we nurture it. If, however, we turn away from God’s love, rejecting it to remain in our sinful ways, our friendship with God suffers appropriately.

Throughout the Bible, God speaks clearly about His attributes. He declares His sovereignty in Isaiah, and refers to His glory in Exodus. Mercy, goodness, and truth are referred to numerous times throughout the old and new testaments. Through it all, sin remains sin and is never dismissed. According to Daniel John Graham, author for the Christian Library, “We have rather badly misunderstood what the love of God is and to whom it is shown. We have told ourselves, our friends, and most particularly, our children that God wants us to be happy, to feel good and to have positive experiences. This borders upon blasphemy!”

The Bible speaks of God’s characteristics, and it also enlightens us about His love. Revelations 3:19 states, “Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest therefore and repent.” This passage indicates that God makes a choice, based on our acceptance (or refusal) of the gift of love offered. Further evidence of this can be found in Hebrews 12: 7 - 8, “Endure your trials as ‘discipline’; God treats you as sons. For what ‘son’ is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are without discipline, in which all have shared, you are not sons, but bastards.”

Even John weighs in on the controversy, “I am the vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” (John 15: 1 – 2)

Yes, God loves some more than others. That love is in direct proportion to our response to the gift of His love. Our choice to nurture or neglect our friendship with God is what’s at stake, not because God didn’t choose to love us, but because we chose not to love Him in return.

Wishing you only good things! Thanks so much for visiting, commenting and sharing this post today.

M. J.

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