I will heal their waywardness and love them freely. (Hosea 14:4)
Here we find all the truths of the Gospel in a single word: freely. The Lord Jesus Christ showers His limitless love upon His people, and He does it freely—not because we deserve it and certainly not because we are in a position to demand it.
Marinate in this truth today, and I can assure you that today will be like no other day you have yet lived. This one word—freely—rebukes every proud pharisaical heart that beats for the glory of the self. And it is also to be the healing balm for every broken heart that has been crushed under the weight of sin and shame.
The love of God in Christ Jesus comes to the Christian believer freely, not because of anything we do or don’t do. There is no condition that must first be met in order to experience this love that is freely given to us. It is simply the desire of the One who freely loves. He loves because He is love. And He loves us simply because He chooses to love us!
For [God] chose us in [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:4-6)
Imagine for a moment that you believed at some level that the reason for God loving you was rooted in you . . . perhaps because of your faithfulness to God or because of your fruitful service in expanding His kingdom. What would happen when you found yourself less than faithful and far from fruitful? You would question whether or not God still loved you. You might well fear going out in a thunder storm! You would constantly be looking over your shoulder, waiting for God to smite you for your imperfections. But when you read today’s text and see this word freely, you are reading the sweetest note your Savior ever played.
Jesus loved you freely from before the foundation of the world; He wrote your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the earth was formed. Jesus loved you freely when He raised you from death to life. And Jesus loves you freely today, regardless of the love you have—or have not—been giving back to Him.
This truth should absolutely rock your world! The love of God in Christ Jesus is given to us moment by moment, freely, without cost and without measure. Jesus does not give us His love in increments—a little love here and a little love there. Rather, Jesus pours His love down upon us from the fountains of heaven, love as unconditional as it is immeasurable.
So . . . what will that truth do for you today? Will it bring you comfort? Will it inspire you to new heights? Will it convince you that you truly do matter to God? Whatever this truth does for you this day, may it burn within your heart that the God of the universe loves you freely . . . He always has and always will.
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!