Our obedience has absolutely nothing to do with God’s love for us. Not even earthly parents stop loving their children just because they are disobedient. God is not a conditional lover – loving us only if we obey. We do not have to worry to obey God a certain amount to have or maintain our salvation. We are saved when we decide to continually believe and trust in God to the best of our ability. Pagans are the ones who should worry about obedience for their own good, but they want nothing to do with their Creator. God certainly grieves selfish choices because of the pain it will bring to His children, but He doesn’t stop loving us.
It is imperative to understand God’s unconditional love. Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees for their misguided emphasis on rules and obedience rather than a relationship and God’s unconditional love. Perhaps Jesus understood the Pharisees were only serving themselves for status reasons in society. God’s love and His mercy is our necessary nourishment. No gloomy uncertainty as to God’s favor can conquer our battle against self-centeredness. We can start each day feeling accepted rather than rejected. God knew we would always be frustrated thinking our efforts will never be enough. We aren’t capable of meeting even our own standards. When we understand how much God loves and values us, we will be more empowered to live selflessly.
Fear is for babies and evil folks. Hell was not used to scare into Heaven those seeking God. Jesus warned the consequence for those hell-bent on evil is destruction in the end. Fear often leads to temporary change to not get caught, not lifelong transformation. Fear doesn’t lead to reflections how to better ourselves. Fear and obligatory love never lead to an intimate relationship in human or spiritual relationships, which truly empower us to be the kind of person we desire to be. God’s unconditional love provides comfort to those whose failures afflict their consciences. We do not have to continually despair over past or present failures. We hate ourselves for not being holier; we do not need to heap God’s hate on ourselves as well
God does not seem concerned that we will use His grace as a license to sin, as the consequence of sin is punishment enough. Our own guilt robs us of God’s assurance and love for us. Understanding God’s grace causes one to sin less not more. God’s grace continually inspires one to not want to disappoint, just as we do not wish to let down a partner, parent, or boss we respect deeply. God loves our good works, but He does not see works as a way to justify His love for us. Works are not so that God can love us but for our own good as they have intrinsic blessings. A person who tells the truth does not fear being caught and leaves a legacy for others to follow. The wicked must live in fear and die in vain.
A Christian’s desire and the desire of our Creator is holiness. We want so much to love God as He loves us and to love others as we wish to be loved. What leads to such obedience? Fear of rejection doesn’t lead to obedience. Understanding God’s unconditional love for us inspires to love Him back. You don’t have to obey to be loved, but knowing how much God loves us can motivate to love Him back. To love God is to love ourselves and others. God is always waiting with open, loving arms for those who desire to be loved and encouraged.