This week I was watching a TV show where a daughter was desperately seeking the love and approval of her father. She felt that his love was based on her performance and that he was "disappointed" in her. No matter how hard she tried, she would never measure up.
Sadly, many Christians have the same sentiment. After receiving the gospel, and trusting in Christ for salvation, many revert back to trying to earn the Father's love.
I have heard it described as a "back-loaded" gospel, to borrow a financial term. We may have received God's love as a trusting "child", but as an "adult" we feel we need to earn His continued favor. That is not the gospel. Our desire for obedience isn't merit based. Our desire for obedience is a response to the Father's great love.
If you wonder whether God loves you, look at the cross. All the things that would keep God from loving you and me were poured out on Jesus. He endured so that we can be fully loved and redeemed.
I read this week on @matt_papa: this quote, and it was foremost in my mind as I shared communion on Sunday.
"It grieves the Father when a Christian is not convinced of the Father's love. I poured out my wrath on my Son for you."
Peter was grieved when Jesus asked him, "Do you love me?"
Think how it must grieve our Heavenly Father when you and I are not convinced of His love.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.