“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath].” 1 JOHN 4:10 AMP
The sum total of the law is to love God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind (Matthew 22:37–40). But let me ask you this: Has anybody ever been able to love the Lord with all his heart, all his soul and all his mind?
The answer is obvious. Not a single person has been able to do that. And God knew all the while that under the law, no one could love Him that perfectly. So do you know what He did? He sent His Son Jesus. When He did that, He was effectively saying this to us: “I know that you can’t love Me perfectly, so watch Me now. I will love you with all My heart, all My soul, all My mind and all My strength.” And He stretched His arms wide and died for us!
My friend, take time to get this into your heart today: The cross is not a demonstration of our perfect love and devotion to God. The cross is God’s demonstration of His perfect love and His perfect grace (unmerited favor) toward us. Let me give you the Bible’s definition of love to make this even clearer for you: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” That’s the emphasis of the new covenant of grace (unmerited favor)—His love for us, not our love for Him. And when we focus on His love for us, we end up loving Him and others effortlessly!