Deuteronomy 7:7-8 (ESV)
7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Charlotte Mortimer described her adult education, creative writing class. The teacher asked all the students to write “I love you” in 25 words or less, without using the words, “I love you.”
The class was given 15 minutes to complete the assignment. Charlotte wrote that one woman spent about 10 minutes looking at the ceiling and wiggling in her seat. Then the last five minutes, she wrote frantically. Later she read her composition to the class. It consisted of three loving statements:
“Why, I’ve seen lots worse hairdos than that, honey.”
“These cookies are hardly burned at all.”
“Cuddle up-I’ll get your feet warm.”
It tells us something about her husband. It also tells us something about the practical side of love.
I don’t know if anyone else spends much time wondering why God loves us, but sometimes His love is a mystery to me. I know my inadequacies and shortcomings. I also know that God loves me in spite of them. Moses’ words to Israel in Deuteronomy 7:7-8
Our might and importance have nothing to do with God’s affection for us. He just loves us. John 3:16 may be the most memorized verse in the Bible: “God so loved the world...”
In the book Love Beyond Reason, by John Ortberg he describes a doll, Pandy, that belonged to his sister, Barbie. By the time he knew Pandy he says, “She had lost a lot of hair, one arm was missing, and she’d had the stuffing knocked out of her.” Not impressed with Pandy’s beauty, he felt that she was too damaged to be even given away.
He remembers his family going to Canada from Illinois for vacation. On the return trip they realized that they had left the doll in Canada and had to drive all the way back to Canada to retrieve her. Pandy was that important to his sister.
When Barbie married and had a little girl of her own, Courtney, his sister had Pandy restored and kept her as Courtney’s doll. Ortberg’s reflection on Pandy’s story impacted me deeply. He wrote, “When Pandy was young, Barbie loved her. She celebrated her beauty. When Pandy was old and ragged, Barbie loved her still. Now she did not simply love Pandy because Pandy was beautiful, she loved her with the kind of love that made Pandy beautiful.”
That’s what God’s love has done for us. He doesn’t love us because we are beautiful, His love makes us attractive.
Sometimes it is hard for us to receive undeserved love, so we try to earn it.
Richard Bellinger, a young boy in South Carolina, was the son of a Baptist minister. One Saturday night, Richard decided to shine his father’s shoes. The following night his father put a silver dollar on the bureau of his son’s room with a note commending his son for what he had done, and telling him that the dollar was his reward. The next morning, when the father put on his shoes, he felt something hard and metallic in one of them. When he took the shoe off and reached inside, he found the silver dollar he had given to his son the night before. Along with the dollar was a note that simply read, “I did it for love!”
What God has done for us, He did for love. Instead of trying to understand it, or deserve it, or pay for it, He just wants us to receive it and say, “Thank you.” When we do that, His love begins to change us. And does His love ever have the power to change us!
God loves us. When we are about to step into heaven because we have believed in Him, if someone asks us why we made it, we can confidently say, “He just loved us.”
Dear Lord, we thank You for loving us. Help us to not question it but to just take Your love and show it to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.