1 John 4:9-10
“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
Some people might find it interesting that I would title an article like this, as most everyone knows that we can’t “make” God do anything. However, there are people who are confused about what it means and what it takes to come to Christ.
Some believe they have to prepare themselves to come to Jesus, and that they have to sign up for a life of good deeds to have Salvation. And still, there are people who believe that God loves them based on their behavior and attitudes and works.
This article is written to help unbelievers and new believers understand that Salvation is based on God’s grace and our belief in Jesus. There are no works or acts on our part that must take place to receive or maintain our Salvation. It is only by faith in Jesus that we are saved.
An excellent resource you may be interested in: Ten Steps Toward Christ: Journey to the Heart of God, by Jimmy Evans. Jimmy often speaks to expose the enemy in his series the overcoming life.
So, the idea of increasing God’s love for us might seem ridiculous to some, but for others, it’s a valid question. Depending on how we are raised, those who grew up in abusive or strict homes might find it very difficult to accept that God’s love and Salvation isn’t earned. Believing that nothing comes easy in life, and if it does, there’s often strings attached.
I hope this article helps people understand that Jesus is the savior of the world and is available to everyone who is willing to accept Him and that He already loves us as fully as He can.
We are saved by grace through faith
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
God offered His Son on the cross as an atonement for our sins. While we were still sinners, deep in sin, Jesus came and paid the full price of our debt. We were facing judgment and punishment, but God provided a way that would fully set us free.
He did this out of His love for us. How great that love was; but not only was, but still is and will be. We can’t do a single thing to make God love us anymore than He does right this minute. Regardless of the lives we’ve lived or the sin currently in our life, God knew exactly what we’d be like and what we’d do with life. He isn’t surprised by our actions.
God loves all His creation. He has no favorites when it comes to His children. So, we must understand that we don’t have to do anything, nor can we do anything even if we wanted, to alter His love for us.
If God wanted us to do more for Salvation, it would be stated throughout the bible. We would be well-informed that not only do we need to accept and believe in Jesus, but that we also need to do this or that, otherwise, we lose our Salvation. Nobody is good enough to keep their Salvation based on works. So, God doesn’t require it.
When we come to Jesus in full surrender and belief that He is Lord, we are saved.
“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’”
“For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.’”
God wants us to do works
“Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.’”
Isn’t this nice? Isn’t it great that the only true work God wants us to do is to believe in Jesus?
So, what’s the deal with all these other “works” we hear about? What’s the point of spiritual gifts and being part of a church and the Great Commission?
I first wanted to clarify that we are only required in this life to believe in Jesus to be saved and made right with God. This is a Salvation issue. What we do concerning “works” as Christians is not a Salvation issue, but rather, about our heart for growing the Kingdom of God and helping others.
When we receive Jesus Christ as Lord, we also receive the Holy Spirit. God gives us His Spirit as a Seal that marks us as His, and the Holy Spirit is also given to us a Helper. When we have the Spirit of God in us, we will become transformed and renewed. Our lives will transform from living sinful lives only to please our fleshly desires to wanting to live righteous lives only to please the Lord, and our minds and way of thinking will be renewed to match that of the Spirit in us.
Because of the Holy Spirit in us, we will become more concerned with the well-being of others and their condition before the Lord. We will want to do good for our neighbors and communities and we will want to be a vessel for the Lord to do as He wishes. Does any of this make us more right with God or make Him love us more? No. Again, God can’t possibly love us any more than He already does, and with Jesus in us, we can’t get any more right with God.
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God wants us to be obedient
“If you will only obey me,
you will have plenty to eat.”
In this Scripture, God was telling the rebellious people of Judah to obey Him and then they would prosper and be safe. The alternative was that they would suffer the blow of their enemies and be overtaken.
God is still saying the exact same thing to all of us today. He is telling us to obey Him and to turn to Him. By doing this, He will faithfully provide for our needs and safety. The alternative warning still holds true, too. If we refuse to obey God and if we refuse to follow Him, then we risk living in consequences from our decisions.
However, if we choose to obey God’s leading and calling on our life, God will work powerfully through us; if we aren’t, we might not necessarily have bad things happen to us, but we won’t be able to see what God would’ve done through us.
In many instances, we don’t do what God is calling us to do because of fear. Instead of stepping out in courage and faith in the power of God in us, we say, “Sorry Lord, but maybe someone else can do this. I’m just no good at talking or preaching or helping or…” Even Moses was guilty of this, in asking God to have his brother Aaron do the talking for them, as Moses was known to have a stutter or speak impediment.
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Fear is a spirit of Satan. So many of us allow this spirit to take up residence in us. We try our best to walk with God while listening to the fearful thoughts and lies of the enemy. This prevents us from becoming all God wants us to be. Does this cause God to love us any less? No. He couldn’t love us any less or any more than He does right now.
I don’t think God loves me because He doesn’t answer my prayers
“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
How can God give us this Scripture, but then fail to answer our prayers? After all, we come to Him with boldness and sincerity when we pray, right?
Let me assure you, God hasn’t failed to answer your prayers. However, God answers prayers in ways that aren’t often understood by us and our way of thinking. God likes to work things out for our good and in the best way possible. Before God will give us something we are praying for, He will first check on the condition of our hearts. He will first search us for sin and anything else that must be addressed.
If we have an unrepentant heart and mindset, or if we aren’t willing to forgive someone, God will make us wait for our requests. If this takes ten years before we change our ways and get right in our thinking and in our hearts, then God will keep working on us until then. God is about justice and doing what’s right.
God will surely withhold certain blessings in our lives if He can see that we aren’t good stewards of what we already have. And God, who is all-knowing, knows our true thinking and heart. This means, if He see’s that our intentions are wrong, or that our prayers are motivated only by personal gain, He is much more likely to make us wait while He helps us learn about selflessness.
God disciplines His children because He loves them. If He only gave us what we asked for, even though we are living a wrong lifestyle, then we wouldn’t correct our behavior. Not only this, but we might even start to see God as a Genie who is just there to grant us our wishes.
However, after we have purified our life of sin and unrighteous living, we can be confident that God will answer our prayers according to His Wisdom and purpose. When we pray, we are wise to go to God with the attitude of, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” God knows that we have needs and desires and He wants to help us with both. But God is always going to be primarily concerned about our inner condition.
So, as we can see, God doesn’t answer our prayers based on love, but instead, based on His Will and our condition and motives. If we are walking with God and our prayer lines up with His Will, we can be sure He will answer it in His perfect way and timing.
There is absolutely nothing we can do to get God to love us any more than He does right now. Satan is a deceiver and he will come to us and put thoughts of doubt into our minds about God’s love. We must read the bible everyday to learn the Scripture and to learn the character of God and Satan. Our focus shouldn’t be on the devil, but instead, to understand that everything he does is to overthrow the power of God in our lives.
Related Resource: Learn to get control of your thoughts and mind with Battlefield of the Mind on Amazon
Our focus should be on who God is and how we can live for Him. We should also be concerned with what we can do with our unique skills, talents, and spiritual gifting to help advance His Kingdom while we are living this brief life on earth.
Coming to Jesus is an act of faith and walking in His Will is an act of obedience. We are all invited by Jesus to live eternally with Him, and this loving offer is available to everybody; even those who have committed the worst sins ever. The more we study Jesus and His character, the more our love for Him will grow.
God’s love is consistent, and God doesn’t pull away or draw closer to us. He is everywhere, always. It’s us who move towards Him or retract away. If you feel like God doesn’t love you enough, first examine your own life for any sin, any unforgiveness, and for any selfishness. Deal with these first and make bible reading and praying a part of your daily routine, while presenting yourself as a willing vessel for the service of God. I am sure that God will respond in a powerful way in your life.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.