Unconditional Love

All this year God has been talking to me about living in unconditional love. So much of our love is given surrounded by expectations or conditions on that love. How often do we only love people who love us? This is a natural response to others. Jesus addressed this when he was teaching His disciples. He said this.

 “There is a saying, ‘Love your friends and hate your enemies.’ But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 TLB

Jesus reveals what true sonship looks like. It is to love others freely and without condition or preference on their part. This kind of love is a reflection of the giver, not a reflection of the receiver. This love is the perfection of maturity and the complete image of the Father. To love as He loves is the perfection of the sons of God.

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 HCSB

This is how the world will recognise us as Jesus’ disciples, by loving others with the same love that God has for us. We cannot love others with unconditional love, until we understand this unconditional love which God has for us. Our heart wants to hold an offense and hold the other person to ransom as if they owe us something because of the wrong which has been done. But we are to look at God’s example of love.

We love because God first loved us. 1 John 4:19 ERV

What makes this love so special is that is has no record of wrong doing. Each encounter is with the kindness of meeting for the first time. Each conversation is filled with grace, patience and honour. There is unconditionally no record of wrongs.

Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 CJB

God is not counting people’s sins against them. God did not send Jesus to bring condemnation, only a demonstration of His perfect love. He was not waiting for us to deserve His love. He freely gives it to us. God is perfect love, and He demonstrated this love to us through Christ.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17 NLT
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT

Even before Christ came, this was the heart of the Father all the time. He wants to remove our offenses, our short comings. He does not want to remember our sins.

I, yes I, am the one who blots out your offenses for my own sake; I will not remember your sins. Isaiah 43:25 CJB

And again He says this.

Like a thick cloud, I wipe away your offenses; like a cloud, your sins. Come back to me, for I have redeemed you. Isaiah 44:22 CJB

To see this love of God demonstrated to us through Christ, this is how we begin to understand God’s perfect, unconditional love. This is what we are invited into, the perfection of this love inside of us. This is what God is working in us. He wants us to know and become perfected love.

If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. How can you keep asking to see the Father? Don’t you believe Me when I say I abide in the Father and the Father dwells in Me? John 14:9-10 VOICE
 “And so I am giving a new commandment to you now—love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 TLB

Jesus came to show us the new commandment which would truly bring us into perfection as sons of God. The writer in Hebrews reveals what the Father has done giving us provision to live as Jesus lived.

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Hebrews 10:16-17 ESV

We have this love written on our hearts and minds in seed form. If we do not live in this love, we are not living in the truth which is inside of us.

If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 1 John 2:4 NLT

It is by receiving God’s unconditional love that we grow and mature into this perfect image of love.

And [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself]. Ephesians 3:19 AMP

We see the heart of God is love. If we know and experience pure love, we know and experience God.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 NASB

To be born again, is to be born of love. This is now the most important thing, to love in such a deep way which covers each other’s sins. Every time we see someone, we see them as though it is our first time to meet them. Deep love says that they have not done anything wrong towards us.

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8 NLT
Let love be your highest goal! 1 Corinthians 14:1 NLT
Follow the way of love. 1 Corinthians 14:1 NIV

Love should be our highest goal in life. We are to follow the way of love until we mature and become perfected love.