“It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 7:7-8 ESV
I am not sure what age it is when we learn that praise is usually earned. I remember when we ‘potty-training’ our two girls. We would celebrate and throw a party every time they would make it all the way to the bathroom. Maybe that is our first lesson on performance based praise. Who knows? However, at some point we all come to think that all true value is based on accomplishment. We have earned it. We deserve it. That’s why something in our hearts bristle at the idea of giving all kids a trophy just for showing up to the game. We know there is an inherit disability to thinking that we can earn favor just by breathing air. We need to earn our. Am I right?
Well, that’s true in so many areas of life but we have to be careful we do not translate that into our relationship with God. God does not love us because we are perfect, because we are smarter than everyone else, or because we have earned His affection. Look at the verse above. I am sure the nation of Israel wondered at some point, “Why me? Why would the God of all things choose me to display His love and favor to the world?“ The answer is, in my own words, just because. God told them they were not the most numerous have anything special to offer. He loved them because He loved them. That should fill us with a sense of awe and wonder. We cannot earn the love of God. All we can do is receive it.
Knowing we are completely and fully loved by God should be the basis by which we live our lives. We serve others because we are loved. We live according to God’s Word and eradicate sin from our lives because we are loved. We walk close to Him because we are loved.
Everything comes from the love of God. We can rest and know we cannot earn it, only receive it.