Did you ever do something when you were growing up that was so terrible that you thought once your parents found out they would stop loving you? I think we have all been in this position sometime in our lives. For me it was when I was in college. I submitted to the peer pressure, did something extremely stupid that was against the college’s rules, and almost got kicked out. I tried hiding it from my parents because I thought once they found out what I had done they would never love me again. But they didn’t. They were disappointed in me. But they never stopped loving me.
In Luke 15, Jesus tells this well known parable that we have deemed “The Prodigal Son.” Jesus explains how the son takes his inheritance, goes away to another country, squanders his inheritance on foolish living, and winds up in a pig pen. The son thinks to himself that he has really done it now. That he has definitely screwed up. He believes that there is no way his father can still love him. In fact, he believes that he is no longer worthy to be his father’s son but that he should be a servant to his father. Thinking that maybe he can earn back his father’s love. That maybe he can work his way back into his father’s good graces. But that’s not true. Before he can even get all the way back home and before the words “I’m no longer worthy to be your son but I can be your servant” gets out of his mouth; the father runs to him, hugs him, kisses him, puts sandals on his feet, a ring on his finger, the best robe on his back, and throws a party for him.
I believe we find ourselves in the shoes of the prodigal son numerous times when it comes to us relating to God, our Heavenly Father. We think that because of the things that we have done or maybe even some of the things we haven’t done that God will stop loving us. That we are no longer worthy to be called His son or daughter but that we are to be His servants. Paul pens in Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In other words, God loved us long before we could have ever done or not have done anything to earn His love or deserve His love. Because of this nothing we can do or not do can ever keep God from loving us. In fact, Paul goes on to expound on this later on in Romans when he writes “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God’s love is founded in Jesus. His love for us is based upon His love for Jesus. It doesn’t depend upon anything we do or don’t do, but upon what Jesus has already done. God’s love doesn’t hinge upon our performance, but on the performance of Jesus. It’s not reliant upon our condition, but on our position as His son or daughter. Nothing will change the truth that He loved us, He loves us, and He will always love us.