When I bring home flowers to Kay, I do so because she’s worth it. She deserves far more than flowers, of course, but pretty bouquets represent my love for this woman who deserves my very best. God’s gift of His Son far surpasses anything like that. In fact, He gave us His best when we deserved His worst:’
But God demonstrated [or manifested] His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
Jesus died for the ungodly, not for the worthy. He died for us when we were yet sinners, not when we were saints. He willingly went to the cross while we were still in open rebellion against Him, still coming short of His glory, still missing the mark—and yet God manifested His love for us by having Christ die for us even then.
We weren’t righteous. We weren’t good. We weren’t lovely. But God showed the vastness of His love for us by sending His only begotten Son to die on our behalf, while we were still sinners.
When did God start loving you? Was it when you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ? When you raised your hand and went forward at some church service or evangelistic event? When you said the sinner’s prayer? Did God say at that moment, “Oh, isn’t that sweet? I am going to love him now”? No! God displayed His love toward you in that while you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you—ungodly you.
Because Jesus died for sinners, we have nothing to boast about in and of ourselves. “Well, the Lord died for me because He saw I was doing my best. He knew I was trying hard. He knew I had potential.” No. Christ died for you and me when we were still sinners, even as we wallowed in our ungodly filth. God loved us even then.
So often we imagine that God must feel disgusted with us, disappointed, discouraged, or even through with us. We feel sure He must have a terribly negative attitude toward us. But it’s not like that.
Years ago, my daughter Jan started going through that “nobody-loves-me” routine after receiving a reprimand. She declared that none of her friends loved her, that her mother and daddy didn’t love her, that nobody loved her.
“Oh, yes, we love you,” we told our little girl.
“No, you don’t,” she insisted.
When she displayed no signs of giving in, I finally said, “Well, Jesus loves you.”
“Oh, no, He doesn’t,” she immediately replied.
“What?” I asked, a little stunned.
“He doesn’t,” she repeated. “He just popped His head out of the clouds and stuck His tongue out at me!”
Sometimes we imagine Jesus doing that to us, don’t we? We tell ourselves that He’s had it with us—that He’s “out of here.” Now, while I could understand Him doing such a thing, He never will. He knew what He got when He died for us.
Remember the truth: “God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).