God’s unconditional love has no bounds, is unchanging and without limitations. It is given freely, no matter what. Each of us has sinned, and sin brings separation from God. Nevertheless, God loves us. It doesn’t mean He loves all that we do, but He loves us. In fact, He loves humanity so much that He made it possible for the breach caused by our sins and wrongdoing to be bridged through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”1
God loves us not because of who we are but because of who He is. In fact, He doesn’t just love you and me and other Christians who appreciate the great sacrifice He made in giving His only Son to die for us, but He loves every single person in the whole world equally and unconditionally. Even if someone has never heard of God, even if someone says they hate Him, He still loves that person unconditionally. God’s love is unfathomable. It is perfect.
Every person is precious to God, regardless of age, race, nationality, physical appearance, economic status, religious belief, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. We may not like every person’s beliefs, lifestyle, or choices. We may not agree with their political or other opinions. They may live without regard to God’s moral standards; they may live lives of grave sin—but no matter what their state, God loves them.
Jesus said that the two most important commandments are to love God and to love others,2 and we are told to let our light shine, so that others may see our good works and glorify God.3 This call to action shows that God intends for us to interact with others in a manner that reflects Him, to treat others with love, compassion, and mercy, as He does. This often requires some sacrifice. But when you think about Jesus’ sacrifice for us, there really is no comparison.
The story has been told of a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had survived the same disease and developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. He hesitated only for a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it to save her.”
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”
The little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.4
What a tender and beautiful example of love! The Bible says, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.”5
The apostle James wrote that the true practice of faith consists of both outward and inward action. Outward toward others in practical ways, and inward through devotion to God. He said: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”6
In his book Well Done, Dave Thomas said, “Roll-up-your-shirt-sleeves Christians see Christianity as faith and action. They still make the time to talk with God through prayer, [they] study Scripture with devotion, [they are] super-active in their church and take their ministry to others to spread the Good Word.”7
As Rick Warren said in The Purpose Driven Life, “In heaven God won’t say, ‘Tell me about your career, your bank account, and your hobbies.’ Instead he will review how you treated others, particularly those in need.”8
Jesus set the example of the “roll-up-your-shirt-sleeves” concept. He constantly showed love to others. He felt compassion for those in need and was moved to loving action. He was merciful. He showed kindness. He fed the hungry and healed the afflicted. He fought against evil and unrighteousness.
Let’s do what we can to be tangible examples of God’s love for humanity, by sharing Him and His love with those in need—spiritually, through introducing them to Jesus, and practically, through ministering to their other needs.
- Romans 5:6,8 NIV
- See Matthew 22:37–40.
- See Matthew 5:16.
- See http://www.turnbacktogod.com/story-unconditional-love.
- 1 John 3:16 NLT
- James 1:27 NLT
- Our Daily Bread, February 6. From a sermon by Dennis Davidson, Authentic Faith Works, October 26, 2009
- The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 126