Many people misunderstand God’s intentions towards them. They think that God is out to get them, that he’s just waiting for them to mess up and hammer them for every little mistake.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
But even folks who understand that God isn’t out to get them my still not fully understand God’s heart towards them.
Fortunately the Bible gives us some insight about God’s character. There’s even one verse in particular that reveals the heart of each of the persons in the Godhead.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. — 2 Corinthians 13:14
Let’s look at that verse and what it says about each of the members of the Godhead.
Grace of Jesus
Jesus has a heart of grace towards us. Grace is different from mercy. Mercy is not administering the punishment someone deserves. In contrast, grace is giving a blessing that someone doesn’t deserve. Simply put, grace is unmerited favor.
That word translated grace in the verse above here is the Greek word charis, and it is pregnant with meaning even far beyond the English word grace. Here’s what charis means in the Greek:
- that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech
- good will, loving- kindness, favor of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.
- the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace the token or proof of grace, a gift of grace benefit, bounty
- thanks, recompense, reward
Jesus has a heart towards you of unmerited favor. Not only that, but his good will towards you is influencing you to help you do the right things in your life. His desire is to give you thanks and reward you, regardless of whether or not you feel you deserve it.
So many Christians are groveling and trying to do some sort of penance because they feel so unworthy of God’s favor. The entire time the truth is that Jesus sees each of us with a heart of grace. His desire is to bless us irregardless of how worthy we see ourselves.
Love of the Father
The Father’s heart towards us is love. There are several Greek words that all end up being translated into the same English word “love”.
Eros – physical, sexual attraction. Root of the English word erotic.
Phileo – to have a special interest in someone or something, frequently with focus on close association; have affection for, like, consider someone a friend. For example we might say, “I love ice cream.” That would be phileo love.
Storge – the love and affection that naturally occurs between parents and children, can exist between siblings, and exists between husbands and wives in a good marriage.
Agape – selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love that is a decision of will rather than a result of feeling, circumstances, or any action on the part of the recipient.
It’s this last kind of love, agape love that the Father has towards us. Jesus said, “For God so loved [agape] the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
The Father loves you no matter what. There is nothing you can do that will cause him to love you any less than he already does. Nor is there anything you could possibly do to cause him to love you any more than he already does.
God is not out to get you.
Fellowship of the Holy Spirit
The word translated communion is the Greek word koinōnia. That word means an intimate ongoing fellowship.
The Holy Spirit’s heart towards you is to spend time with you so that you get to know him. He desires to be with you always and guide you into all truth. Jesus said that the Holy Sprit will communicate what he hears from the Father and reveal things about the future to us. In the process of doing that the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus.
As human beings we are innately curious about the future. Some people even go to extreme lengths to try and learn their own future. Part of the Holy Spirit’s purpose here is to show us things to come. (John 16:13)
The heart of the Holy Spirit is to spend time with us, to just hang out and fellowship. When I think of fellowship I think of some companions spending time together to achieve a common goal. The Holy Spirit longs for us to be on mission with him.
The more time we spend in his company, the better we learn to discern his voice. That leads to a deeper understanding and revelation about truth. And that’s the Holy Spirit’s desire for each of us.
True Heart of God
So there you have it. The next time you start to feel condemned, that God is upset or disappointed with you don’t believe that lie. Instead remember to hold onto this truth:
The heart of God towards you is grace, love, and fellowship.