Here’s a dilemma that I’ve been struggling with and I may have found an answer. The New Testament tells us repeatedly that God loves us. I don’t question that one bit. Still, the Bible also makes it clear that we’re all a bunch of scoundrels, always screwing up and never good enough and thats why Jesus had to die a brutal death to pay for our natural and decided awfulness. There isn’t anything inherently good about us. Nothing but sinners! God is like that parent of wayward kids that are a total heartbreak. Parents still love those rotten kids, but they sure don’t like them. They still have hope for them, but still hope they don’t stop by. The total depravity of man is rough on God, but it isn’t easy being the depraved ones either.
I want Jesus to love me, but I think that I want Jesus to like me even more. Love can be burdensome, but like means that I want to hang out with you and do stuff or even just do nothing. I know that my wife loves me, but if she didn’t like me(and yes there are those moments!), it would be a pretty dismal life. Your friends probably don’t love you, but they’re fun to go places with and do things. I’m so grateful that Jesus loves me, I know that I’m a royal pain in the ass, and that He saved my bacon, but I want Him to want to watch a movie with me, or go for a bike ride or work on a project with me. Just to hang out with me. Fellowship is the church word.
But wait a minute, it seems like I’m only looking at this from my point of view, right? This is my opinion from where I’m standing. Does the Bible say we are to love God? You bet it does! Don’t overlook how often Jesus told us to pray. Jesus prayed, not because He was a royal pain in the ass like us, but because that’s how He was able to hang out with God the Father. Jesus didn’t really need anything from Him, there was no love question, Jesus just wanted to communicate with someone He liked to be with. So if Jesus’ communicating with God the Father is evidence that prayer is a like relationship, perhaps His wanting us to pray with Him is evidence of God and Jesus’ want to have a like relationship with us? God doesn’t physically ‘Walk with us in the cool of the morning”, but maybe this is the best we can do while we’re down here. Maybe that’s why Jesus went through all of this mess to get us to be with Him. It isn’t that He has a need that we can really fulfill, there isn’t anything that we can do for Him. He just wants us there because He wants us, He likes us. He wants us to pray constantly because He likes talking with us, not because He needs our advice. He said He was building a place for us on His land. Now , I like you folks, but not that much, you aren’t building anything on my land and I’m darn sure not gonna do it for you!
Consider His greatest Command, the great commission, “Come on up and bring lots of my friends with you and treat them kindly.” I think He might just like those other scoundrels and I think He likes you too. Its a mess down here, but there’s no pain up there and we don’t need money, its an all inclusive trip and we never have to leave. Lets plan on filling a bus up to Jesus’ place, I’ll bet the food is good too! Pack lightly friends, the bus is leaving sooner than you think!