“How good must you be for God to love you?” Ever have that question come to your mind? It came to the mind of a friend of Guidelines who wrote and asked if God performs plastic surgery of the heart to take away the scars of childhood. The listener told of being born to parents who didn’t love her, so they gave her up for adoption. The adoptive parents told her, “If you are good, we will love you.” As a teenager, she went to church and seemed to hear the message, “If you are good, God will love you and take you to heaven when you die.” She told of the time when she invited Christ to be her Savior, but she knew she could never be good enough for God to love her.
Thus, I would put the question to you that she put to me: “How good must you be for God to love you?” Before you answer, may I share with you something of the lives of men and women who have been loved by God? Let’s consider a murderer, who in a fit of anger, took a knife and ran it through a fellow citizen. As the blood ran down on the sand, and the Egyptian drew his last breath, a man whose life had one day been spared by the hand of God became a murderer. His name was Moses, and God used him to later be a great deliverer. Then consider the life of a fanatical, religious bigot who was responsible for the deaths of many Christians. His name was Saul of Tarsus. Even though he was God’s enemy, God loved him enough to save him and make him the Apostle Paul. How good must you be for God to use you? Then there was a prostitute who befriended two spies in the city of Jericho. That woman—Rahab by name—became one of the progenitors of David and Christ. How good must you be for God to love you?
Here it is in blunt terms: Your moral goodness, or the depth of your sin, has nothing to do with the simple fact of God’s great love for you as a person. The fact of God’s love in spite of man’s sin is a tremendous truth that overshadows every page of the Bible. This great truth is like a mighty Everest that dwarfs the hills and valleys of human behavior. Be very clear about this—God hates your sin, but yet He loves you as a person. You can never, ever be good enough to deserve His love—but you can respond to His love, and thus experience His forgiveness and the personal presence of Christ in your life.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Do you realize that you can know God in a real and personal way? Do you know you can have the positive assurance that God has forgiven your sin? God does take away the sins of our hearts through spiritual plastic surgery. God can wipe the tears of regret from our eyes. It is up to you to let Him work in your life. Paul told us how to begin this great work of God in our lives. He said, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NKJV).
What others may not see in your life, God does. How good must you be for God to love you? For God so loved the world that He gave—He gave His only Son. But God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Resource reading: John 3:1-18