1 John 4:9-10
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
” For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
Paul McCartney “don’t care too much for” theology. Unlike John, who before his death described himself as a “most religious fellow,” or George, who was a devotee of Hare Krishna for over thirty years, or Ringo who, just a few years ago, announced a return to faith and asserted that “God is my life,” Paul has kept his distance from God.
But his early song, “Can’t Buy Me Love” (some of you are probably hearing it in your heads right now!) has some good theology. Love isn’t for sale. You can’t buy it and nothing you can do will earn it. Love isn’t a commodity.
No one ever loved you because you deserved it. Not your mom or dad, not your wife or husband, and certainly not God. Love doesn’t work that way. Love does not depend on the loveliness or lovability of its object, but on the heart of its subject. That is, love doesn’t start with the person being loved, but with the person doing the loving.
God doesn’t love us because we are so great, but because he is so good; not because we are so lovable, but because he is love. How wonderful is that? If God’s love depended on my lovability, there are times (to be honest, most times), I would be unloved.
We can point people to God and his Son Jesus Christ by loving them the way God has loved us: not because they are lovable, but because we are possessed by God’s love. We can proactively love them, as God loved us. And when they are unlovable, we can love them anyway, because our love doesn’t depend on them but on the God who has loved us.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)