God loves you very much and this fact doesn’t change with how you behave. God’s love is even more constant than taxes 😉 Romans 8, 1John 4, Ephesians 2 & other chapters and examples throughout the Bible show us God’s faithful& consistent love for us. God’s love for us is based on Who He is (God is love) and not based on our efforts or good deeds.
On the other hand, God’s pleasure with us is something that is based on our behavior. In 2 Cor 5:9, Paul says that we make it our goal or aim to please God. In Psalms 67:1, we read that God can make His face shine upon us – in the NLT it says that He smiles on us. In Col 1:10-12, Paul tells us 4 ways that we can please God (make Him smile):
- bearing fruit in every good work (being fruitful)
- growing in our knowledge of God (growing in knowing God)
- being strengthened with His power for attaining all steadfastness & patience (being steadfast & patient)
- joyfully giving God thanks (being thankful)
When I think about God’s love versus God’s pleasure, it helps me to consider the difference when I look at my kids. I deeply and highly love my kids – indisputable, unchangeable, consistent . . . . But there are times that they are more pleasing to me than at others. I’m not very pleased when they fight with each other. I don’t like it when they’re messy. I don’t like it when they are argumentative with me. I do like it when they snuggle with me. I like it when they help me in the kitchen. I like it when they’re kind to each other. These things give me pleasure and make me smile. Today, let’s determine to do the things that make God smile 🙂