"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While were were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
As I meditate on this verse this morning there are a couple of things that stand out for me. The first is that it is in the present tense. It does not say that God demonstrated but that he demonstrates. This basic fact of our relationship with Father is an ongoing revelation. When people ask us how we know that God loves us when so much evil exists in the world, our answer is always Jesus. This is also an ongoing encouragement for us.
When I am having a rotten day and circumstances seem stacked against me, I remember Father's love by remembering Jesus. When Yahweh seems so far from me, when I can't see him or hear him, I remind myself of his love by remembering Jesus. The Israelites encouraged themselves by remembering what Yahweh did for them in Egypt. Christians encourage themselves by remembering Father's love which he demonstrates by the cross.
The second thing that stands out for me are the words "his own love". To fully understand it you must read the verses leading up to this but basically it says that my love, as great as it may be, is nothing compared to Father's. I cannot save anyone in my name. It is not my love or effort that makes a difference. Hooray that I can love sacrificially but only Yahweh's sacrificial love has the power to save. And what a love it is.
What is incredible is how Father demonstrates his own love. He does not demand that we change, reach perfection, learn his ways, or make sacrifices. Come as you are, in all your sin and imperfections. If things need to change then he will work with you on that after the fact. First he wants you to know he loves you, even as you are. He loves you! How do we know? Because Jesus died for you on that cross. He was thinking of you and how much Father wants you to be with him, because he loves you. That's how we know he loves us.
Yes, change will come because when we accept his love, the forgiveness of our sins, there is a transformation that takes place. The great thing is, when we have the revelation of his love, we want to change, we want to be transformed, we don't want to stay the same. That's how you know it is real. If that doesn't happen then it hasn't happened for you yet. But seek him. If you want this great revelation of his love, if you want to understand this demonstration, then seek his face and you will see him, in all his glory.
The greatest love story ever told is Jesus.