It is obvious by now that my intent is to show that the only Person who can fulfill all these needs of our hearts is the Lord Himself. He is strong and loving and good and we can trust Him. But does He accept us? That’s the rub for most people. They have been taught that God only accepts us when we are good enough. There are a lot of ways they explain that, of course, but the bottom line is the same. It may be that He makes us good enough by saving us and giving us another chance. It may be that He enables us to be good enough through grace. It may be that He will ultimately look past the fact that we are not good enough and bring us into His kingdom anyway. There are many ways to explain acceptance on the basis of our performance/measure of goodness.
But what about just plain love? Could it be that God simply loves us? That’s what He said to the people of Israel, that He chose them simply because He loved them. In fact, as I read the Scriptures I see the motivation of love everywhere. God loves His people. He loves you and me. Because of that love, He reaches out to restore us to relationship with Him.
In the Garden, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. He was real to them and He was an active part of their daily lives. They didn’t even know life apart from Him. It was natural and ordinary for them to talk with Him, to listen to His teachings, and to live fully aware of His presence. This was the relationship He wanted with His people.
But then they looked at their world – imagine this! – and decided that they could make it better. Adam and Eve thought they could become something they were not by eating the apple. They were wiser in the simple presence of God than they could ever become on their own, but they chose to go their own way. Their sin was far more than simple disobedience. It was a choice to no longer live in the same simple relationship. Forever afterward Adam and Eve and their children have tried to regain that relationship that was lost.
Jesus came to restore that relationship. But listen: He didn’t come to give us something. He came to be something for us. God became a man to restore our relationship with Him. I am more convinced than ever that Jesus was and is fully God, simply because I finally understand the real purpose of His coming. We wandered away from Him so He came to us. It’s as simple as that. What He did for us is wonderful beyond description, but why He did it is simple. He loves us!
Here’s where it all comes together. Jesus came to make everything different. We had died in our relationship with God. Jesus, Who had a relationship with the Father that could never be broken, that was inherent in His being, came to give us that relationship once again. But it wasn’t as simple as giving us something we didn’t have. He didn’t just make it possible. No, He became our relationship with God. He is the Vine and we are the branches. That wasn’t said to put us down, but to show us where our life comes from. The very life that flows within us is Jesus! (Galatians 2:20)