WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 7, 2022
TOPIC: THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8 New King James Version).
Easter celebration is a reminder of the unconditional love of God. This is God’s love for man by offering His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for the sins of the world, not because we deserved it or satisfied any condition. The sacrificial death of His Son was not based on our qualifications. This is agape love.
The Bible says for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This qualifies the world for hellfire but God sent the righteous to die for sinners. He sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins. The Bible says God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9 New King James Version).
Proverbs 21:18 says, “The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright” (New King James Version). But to save human beings from eternal damnation, God did the opposite of what this scripture says. He made the righteous die for the wicked. He gave the righteous as a ransom for the wicked (sinners). God did this because of love, not because of anything good that human beings did. Love is not just an attribute of God but God is love (1 John 4:16a).
Romans 5:6-8 says, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (New King James Version).
God’s love for man is unconditional. Man did not deserve God’s love when He sent Jesus to die for the sins of the world. If you’re born again, nothing should make you doubt the love of God. If He loved you enough to make His Son die for you while you were still a sinner, nothing will make Him stop loving you now that you have believed in His Son. He has decided to love you and there is nothing that you can do that will make Him stop loving you or love you less.
God loves both sinners and those who are born again. That does not mean God loves everything human beings do. He loves us but not our sins. However, God’s unconditional love does not cancel the justice of God. Whoever does not accept Jesus Christ as His Lord and Saviour will not escape eternal damnation because God has already sacrificed His Son to deliver man from His judgment.
The Apostle John said He (Jesus) came to His own and His own did not receive Him but as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:11-12). “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18 New King James Version). Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
Because God loves human beings, He did not spare His Son but delivered Him up for us all (Romans 8:32a). Jesus was delivered up because of our offences and was raised because of our justification (Romans 4:25). Whosoever believes in Jesus Christ will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:15). But those who reject God’s salvation will spend eternity in hellfire. The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God (Psalm 9:17).
Jesus was given as a ransom for us so that we shall not spend eternity in hellfire. Jesus said the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). Jesus has paid the price for your salvation. He came to the earth, abandoned His glory in heaven, and died on the cross for the world after being subjected to an unfair trial. He was denied justice but He didn’t resist it. He did this for you. He gave Himself a ransom for you.
Isaiah 53:7-9 says, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked—But with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth” (New King James Version). Acts 8:32-33 also refers to this.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13 New King James Version). The same unconditional love God has for us, He also wants us to have for fellow human beings. He commands us to love – give of ourselves to others and not live a selfish life. Jesus said we should love our neighbours as ourselves (Matthew 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31).
Jesus went a step further to ask us to love not just our friends but also our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-36). Beyond the Old Testament requirement to love your neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:18, 34), which Jesus also restated in the New Testament, He further raised the bar of love, when He taught His disciples a new commandment on love. This is Christlike love. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34 New King James Version). He also said in John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (New King James Version).
Practise God’s kind of love: unconditional love. If you do, you would have fulfilled all the commandments. It is the love of the will rather than of emotions; it is not love based on sentiments. “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10 New King James Version).
This Easter season and beyond, show others, especially sinners, the love of God. Tell sinners that Jesus Christ loves them and died for their sins. With the help of the Holy Spirit, practise unconditional love. Ephesians 5:2 says to walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for Your unconditional love for me. Holy Spirit, help me to love others unconditionally. I pray that this Easter, many sinners shall respond to the unconditional love of God and surrender their lives to Jesus. Father, let Your love replace hate in our societies.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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