Victoria Osteen - God's Love For You Is Unconditional
It is so good to have you in the house of the Lord. I'm so grateful today that God calls us just the way we are. He doesn't call us when we're perfect, when we've got ourself looking good, when we're just like we think we should be. God calls each and every one of us just the way we are. And when he calls us, he calls us from that place of love and commitment to us. You know, it would be so freeing to live a life where you felt like everybody loved you, wouldn't it? It'd be like you'd be so free from thinking of saying the wrong thing, or doing the wrong thing. You would be so free to live out of a place of abundance, not judgment.
You know, it's interesting, I don't know if, lately, people get so uptight about things because of Instagram and Facebook. You know, it's interesting because the way we present ourself is so important. I mean, they've got filters to make things look better. We've got apps to give us the right curves. We've got things to make our eyes more green or more blue. I mean, we present ourself so that we can have the approval of other people. You know, you can get caught up in all that. Can I tell you this, though? God doesn't need you to put a filter on your life. He doesn't need you to download an app to make yourself look better. God likes you. He loves you just the way you are. Live in the freedom that God loves you unconditionally.
You see, if we'll build our life on this foundation each and every day, if we'll get up and we'll truly say, "God, I'm not going to condemn myself. I don't believe you're condemning me. I believe that you love me with an everlasting love. I'm going to go out those doors, being my very best today, honoring you, knowing that I'm not perfect, but you are. And that there's nothing you can't do through me". I believe when we live our life like that, we'll be steady, we'll be strong.
You see, sometimes we fall into the thinking that God loves us according to our performance. If we do everything right, then God will love us. But that is not true. That couldn't be further from the truth. See, God loves us unconditionally, the Bible says. He loves us. Actions, if you're basing God's love on your actions, that's conditional. See, you're saying, "God, when I do right, you love me. When I miss the Mark, you get mad at me". See, God doesn't love us like that. God loves us because of Jesus Christ. You can't work for God's love.
You see, when we start thinking like that, when we have attitudes like, "God, I have been so good lately. You know, I'm going to do this, God, because I want your blessing. I want you to be proud of me and love me even more", you know what you're doing? You're shifting yourself from a place of unconditional love to a place of works. And it's so easy to get caught up in works. Because when you get caught up in works, you know what you do? You begin to look at other people and say, "You know what, God? They're not as good as me. They're not acting as good as me. They're not doing as well as I am. Why are they getting all the blessings"? We begin to shift our perspective, and we begin to see through these eyes of who deserves it and who doesn't. And why should you have it, and why do I not? The work has been done.
You can't work for God's blessing and love. You know what? You can only receive it. It's a simple thing. You can only receive it. It's only what you believe. If you believe that Jesus died for you, if you believe that he closed the gap between heaven and earth, and now you are this way with God, you are in God's favor, you are in God's grace, and you are in God's love, you can only receive that. You can't work for it. The price was too great. You could never pay the price that Jesus paid. Joel and I have been married about 30 years now, almost 30 years. And it's interesting because I can look back over our marriage, and we have a great marriage, but our marriage was built on unconditional love.
See, our marriage wasn't built on Joel being perfect. It wasn't built on us agreeing on everything. It was built on a commitment of knowing we go back to the place that we love each other unconditionally. See, we don't get up in the morning and we don't decide, "Today, you did wrong, so I don't love you as much. You didn't agree with me, you didn't meet all my needs, so you know what? I don't quite love you as much today as I did yesterday".
Can you imagine if I would come into Joel's presence and I would feel all low because maybe I didn't do right, maybe I didn't meet an expectation he had? Maybe I burned the dinner, I didn't balance the checkbook, I spent too much money. Can you imagine if I would come into this presence like that, how I would feel? I would feel so worthless. I would feel like, you know, I would project my worthlessness on him. I would think, "If I feel bad, if I'm inadequate, you must think I'm bad and inadequate". You see, I would project that on him. And he may not even be thinking that. He may not even care. But I would think he doesn't love me because I did all these things.
You know what? That wouldn't make me grow. It wouldn't make me flourish. It wouldn't make our marriage strong. But if I come in and I say, "Amen, I spent a little too much money today, but I did get it on sale. Hey, I'm sorry, I'll do better next time", and I come in with an attitude of, "You know what? He loves me unconditionally", it empowers me to do better. And do you know when you build your life on this unconditional love with God, that's the only way you're going to get better. Then you're going to say, "God, I'm sorry, I messed up big time, but thank you that you still love me. Thank you that I can do better. Thank you that I can improve".
Children grow, develop, and become everything when they're in a nurturing and loving environment, not when they're in a harsh and critical place. And see, we have to understand that what was done on the cross was a demonstration of love to us way before we ever accepted Jesus. The Bible says it like this, "While you were yet sinners, Christ died for you". He gave, he demonstrated the greatest love ever, believing that you were going to accept him, knowing that what he did for you is all there needs to be done.
So, I just want to encourage us, don't take your own faults and your own inadequacies and put them on God. Don't decide if I can't forgive myself, if I don't like myself, I guess God doesn't either. And we walk around with this mentality of, "I've got to work for God. If I'm ever going to be anything, I have got to show God". I was talking to a really nice young man the other day, and he told me, "I used to tell God, 'God, why do all these things happen to me? What's wrong with me, God? What have I done to deserve all these crazy things that have gone on in my life? I've been divorced, lost my children. I'm just struggling all the time'".
You see, he was looking at what was going on in his life, and deciding that's the way God loved him. He was worth about that much. Until one day, he shifted his perspective, and he quit looking through the lens of the victim, and decided he was going to look through the lens of the victor, the one who had it all through Jesus Christ. Somehow, that message came through to him. And he said, "It was interesting, when I began to change my perspective and I began to say, 'God, show me your love. God, teach me what is it you want me to learn from these situations'", he said, "My whole life changed. My whole life opened up". He said, "I wasn't disappointed all the time, but God started bringing things into my life, relationships and people". He literally took that veil that was covering his own thinking, and allowed the goodness of God to get to him.
Listen to this. It says in Romans 8, this is Paul, and he, you know the life of Paul. He had been through many trials. He'd been shipwrecked. He'd been persecuted. He'd been beaten. He'd been thrown in prison. And this is what he wrote in Romans 8. He says, "What can separate us from the love of Christ"? That was his question. "What can separate us from the love of Christ"? And then he goes on to say, "Difficulties, trials, persecutions, challenges? None of this can separate us from Christ's love". What he was saying, "What I'm going through right now, that doesn't mean God doesn't love me. There is no separation in God's love".
But can I ask you this question? Can we separate ourself from thinking God loves us from the way we think? Can we make that separation in our own mind when it's not true? And when we separate ourselves in our own thinking, how do we get to the goodness of God? How do we believe in the cross? How do we live that stable and secure life? See, that's why the enemy wants you to reflect your worthlessness on God. If he can make you think you're not worthy, he'll make you think God thinks you're not worthy. And can I tell you you got to point yourself back to the cross? Because you don't deserve it. No, you don't deserve it, I don't deserve it. But Jesus thinks we do, and he paid it all for us. He paid it all for us.
Listen, as long as you're alive, as long as you're walking on this planet earth, there is going to be voices that are going to discourage you. There's going to be doubt. There's going to be plenty of times that you can feel worthless. But can I tell you this? God made you worthy. You've got to build your life on this foundation. When you live on the foundation of unconditional love, and approval, forgiveness, see, all of that God gave you on the cross. He accepted you, he forgave you, he approved you. When you live under the umbrella of God's grace, guess what? You not only will improve your life, but you will have so much love in your life that you'll begin to give it away, amen? Amen.