“You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands” (Psalm 119:57–60 NIV).
And it is received by a God full of mercy and grace. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV).
The conditions included in God’s unconditional grace come from Him within us. He does the changing, mending, and sorting through and returns it with love and His Spirit inside us, in our hearts. Our only condition is to open the door of our heart and let Him in.
So why do we hesitate? We’re fearful! We’re fearful of failing, not being accepted anymore by the very ones we probably need to be away from anyway, and knowing what God Himself has in store for us to do. We want to be in control. We want to know the plans before they happen so we can decide if that is what we want to do. We want to know what God will do and if He is even going to do something. We expect to know.
So what do we think of when we hear conditional in contrast to unconditional? Wedding vows exclaim unconditional love, but are they? Conditional benefits me, what I want. Unconditional benefits others at no cost to them. You punish your children by showing conditional behavior for their benefit. They do this, so you do that. But when you show them you love them just as much as you did before the act that needed punishment, that’s unconditional love.
We’re taught to love everyone unconditionally because God loves us unconditionally. Unconditional implies no action is needed, but there are actions needed to live a believer’s life to its fullest. Jesus on the cross dying a horrendous death, full of pain and shame, showed the most selfless act full of unconditional love ever recorded. “Then said Jesus, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ And they parted his raiment, and cast lots” (Luke 23:34 KJV).
Unconditional acts are so great because they’re done from the heart and not for show or gain.
“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. And you shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NASB).
I can guarantee and testify that, behind every underage drinker is an adult involved, enabling him or her somewhere. The adult has brought alcohol into his or her home within reach or sold it at a store, but there is an adult somewhere who has been a part somehow, even if he or she never intended for a child to be led the wrong way. God expects us to raise our children to know Him and His Word so they’ll tell about Him to their children. But sometimes we get too busy with our own concerns and wants, our conditions.
What is your testimony, your words for God, of God, and with God? What will you tell your children? What do you love, and how do you love it, conditionally or unconditionally? The word agape is defined as a selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional love. It is used to refer to the highest form of love. This is how God loves us and is also used for the love Jesus had for His Father and followers. It means immeasurable and incomparable.
God gives this love without condition to us who are so undeserving (John 3:16, 13:35, 14:21, 17:23; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 John 4:8).
How deep is your love?
Excerpt taken from Chapter 6, Unraveled, Time to Hear: An Investment Toward Your Eternity.