Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. 1 John 4:10

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” Genesis 3:8-10 (NLT)

Our finite minds won’t allow us to come to a full understanding of what it was like in the Garden of Eden when the first man and the first woman walked with God. Scripture tells us that Adam and Eve walked with God as three friends, not as creator and creation. The only relationship they knew with Jehovah God was a face to face, arm in arm, friendship.

After the first couple ate from that dreaded tree, the relationship was severed, but the love was not. That’s important! It wasn’t the lack of God’s love that drove Adam and Eve into the trees; it was a misunderstanding of their relationship with the father.

In the years that followed, if we read the stories of the Old and New Testament carefully, we realize that from that point forward, the Heavenly Father’s purpose was not to punish mankind for their rebellion, but to gain back the relationship he so badly wanted. The very purpose of him creating mankind and the universe that surrounds us was so he could love us. God’s love was the motivation for all he did. Since then, everything he does is an effort to regain the love relationship he had with us in the beginning.

It wasn’t just physical nakedness that drove Adam and Eve (and us) away from a loving, merciful and graceful creator; it was the exposure of their own ability to live up to their part of the love relationship. Guilt and shame built a wall between the lovers. In the garden, God sought to cover that shame with the temporary clothing of an imperfect sacrifice; on the cross he destroyed the barrier once and for all through the Messiah, Jesus Christ!

The problem for us becomes the fact that we still are deceived into thinking that because we fail; because we are unable to fulfill our end of the love relationship we can have no part in the pure forgiveness of the perfect sacrifice. Nothing is further from the truth.

Our ability to love God has never been a prerequisite for living in a love relationship with the Father. Our only response is to accept his love freely based on our own repentance and confession that Jesus Christ is Lord.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the enemy of my soul continually bombards me with the lie that I can never love you enough and therefore I can not love you. Based on your promise I realize that my love for you has never been a prerequisite for your loving me. Today, I claim your love for me based on the perfect sacrifice you gave on the cross. Amen.

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