Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give… (Matthew 10:8, KJV)
In the movie Fireproof, a father tells his son, “You can’t give her what you don’t have.” He was referring to the love of Christ. His son had not received the love offered by God through the sacrifice of His own Son. So this father was telling his son you can’t love her unconditionally if you haven’t received the heavenly Father’s unconditional love for you.
I was thinking about that this morning when the scripture above came to mind. Specifically the part that says, “…freely ye have received, freely give.” Freely receive. That is how we obtain the Father’s unconditional love. We don’t earn it. We don’t work for it. We simply receive what He is offering.
We don’t have to jump through hoops in just the right way to be loved by God. He loves us when we do everything right. He loves us when we do everything wrong. His love is constant. His love is unconditional. His love is freely ours to receive.
Some people worry that when you talk like this it is giving people a license to sin. I have never found anything more powerful for breaking the hold of sin in a person’s life than the power of God’s unconditional love.
Romans 2:4 tells us that the goodness of God leads to repentance. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
Freely you have received. Stop trying to earn His love and simply receive it.
Freely give. Stop requiring that others earn your love. Freely you have received unconditional love. Freely love others unconditionally. His goodness through you will lead others to repentance.