The Point of Intersection
Where does God’s unconditional love intersect with His conditions of obedience? Some would say that God's love is all unconditional. That He is always extending His hand, caring, showing mercy and rescuing. Others have a view of God that feels like the heavy hand of a prison warden. Follow my standard or else.
But what if God is both? What if God, through unconditional love, extends mercy and grace that is undeserved to all people inviting them into a relationship with Himself in order to show us a better way to live? And what if He then set up a system of reward and punishment in order to grow us toward maturity?
I would contend that the Bible clearly reveals the God of the prodigal son, always waiting with arms outstretched hoping that his son will return and then throwing a party when he does. I would also suggest that we are to listen to Jesus' words in John 14:15, "If you love me, keep my commands." and verse 21 "Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Let us revel in the grace of God's unconditional love as well as find our true selves and the meaning in life through obedience to His commands.