It’s difficult for us to believe that God continues to love us in our sin. Isn’t God’s love like our own love for each other, conditioned by the way we give and take? No, it’s not. God’s love is totally unconditional. We treat Him poorly, but he never stops loving us. In the book of Lamentations, Israel was experiencing the consequences of turning their backs on God but even then, God was preserving His people because of His love. Jeremiah writes in chapter 3, verse 22, “God’s compassion never ends.” It doesn’t matter how bad we’ve been, how much we’ve offended Him, or hurt Him, he never stops loving us. The verse goes on, “It is only His mercies that have kept us from complete destruction.”

From Mike Greens Illustrations for Biblical Preaching, comes this telling little story about unconditional love: One Sunday a little boy looked up at his dad and asked, “Daddy, how does God love us?” His father answered, “Son, God loves us with an unconditional love.” The lad thought for a moment and then asked, “Daddy, what kind of love is unconditional love?” After a few minutes of silence his father answered, “Do you remember the two boys who used to live next door to us and the cute little puppy they got last Christmas?” “Yes.” “Do you remember how they used to tease it, throw sticks and even rocks at it?” “Yes.” “Do you also remember how the puppy would always greet them with a wagging tail and would try to lick their faces?” “Yes.” “Well, that puppy had an unconditional love for those two boys. They certainly didn’t deserve his love for them because they were mean to him. But, he loved them anyway.” The father then made his point: “God’s love for us is also unconditional. Men threw rocks at his Son, Jesus, and hit him with sticks. They even killed him. But, Jesus loved them anyway.” Richard Halverson, former Senate Chaplain, put it this way, “There is nothing you can to do make God love you more! There is nothing you can do to make God love you less! His love is Unconditional, Impartial, Everlasting, Infinite, Perfect!”

If you’re linked up with the new social networks, like facebook, twitter and probably others, you know what it means to “follow” someone. You stay in touch with them and find out what they’re doing and are reminded frequently of their activities. Jesus said to those he called “follow me.” If you had to choose to follow one with the greatest analytical skills, the sharpest mind, the greatest set of gifts, the largest bank account or a person who would love you unconditionally, who would you choose? Me too! And guess what? The one who loves us unconditionally has all the rest as well.