Love and Relationship (Part 1)

“Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 1:9 NLT)

A verse like the one above can raise some theological questions that are beyond the focus of this post. Whether someone who “wanders away” loses their salvation is not the issue I want to address today. What troubles me is the misunderstanding of the terms themselves  –  “love” and “relationship.”

God is love! What does that mean? It means He is the embodiment of everything that is good, right, and wholesome. Every kindness, every smile that is the result of something you see, hear or experience, is an act of love from God. God cannot not love.

In a recent post I shared a verse from John 17:23 where Jesus, in His prayer says: “..that You (God, the Father) love them (believers) as much as You love Me (Jesus).” When I first read that it was nearly impossible for me to process. How can God love a mess like me (and you 😊) the same as He loves His perfect, sinless Son?

As I’ve wrestled with that question, the Lord reminded me in Matthew 5:45, that God’s love is like the sunshine and rain. The sun shines and the rain falls on EVERYONE without discrimination. It’s the same with God’s love. God loves everyone the same, regardless of character or belief. How that love is received is a whole different issue.

A “relationship” with God through Jesus is essentially a positive response to His love. It begins when we say “yes” to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him, receive Him into our life by faith, and pledge our allegiance to Him. In much the same way as we learn to trust any other person, we place our trust in Jesus, and begin a lifelong journey of walking in relationship with Him.

Photo by Yuri Catalano on

Like with any relationship, there are ebbs and flows, times of intimacy and closeness, and times of doubt and, as the verse above mentions, wandering. The implication of the verse above suggests walking away and/or rejecting the teaching of Scripture that was foundational in one’s relationship with Jesus. When that happens, it is evidence that no relationship with God exists. Whether or not the relationship EVER existed is another question.

My point is simply this. No “relationship” does not mean no “love.” God doesn’t stop loving us no matter what. He loves the worst sinner who ever lived as much as He loves Jesus. He takes no delight in those who perish without Jesus. He loves each of us regardless of whether we’re faithful to Him or not. Love isn’t the issue with God. Relationship IS.

My concern centers on understanding, whether we have a relationship with Jesus or not, God always loves us. Perhaps you once had a meaningful relationship with the Lord, but due to difficult circumstances, you lost your way. Now, though you once felt close to God and dearly loved, God seems far away, and you fear He no longer loves you. On the authority of Scripture, I assure you, that is not the case. He loves you in this moment just as much as He ever did.

We’ll look at this further tomorrow.

Blessings, Ed 😊

One thought on “Love and Relationship (Part 1)

  1. ”Love isn’t the issue with God. Relationship IS.” – Ed Hager,
    Drops The Divine Mic

    Ed, what skill you have in getting to the root of an issue without diving into all the possible questions, concerns, theological points.

    In my walk with God, I have struggled with lounging myself the way God loves me.

    I am reading and processing the questions and exercises in the book “The Missing Commandment: Lover yourself”.

    Being able to receive John 17:23 where Jesus, in His prayer, says: “..that You (God, the Father) love them (Derick) as much as You love Me (Jesus)”, is something the holy spirit it’s working on healing in my heart.

    While I understand John 17 with my head, the brokeinternalizationsns of lies in my heart, misunderstanding, limiting beliefs, and personal defenses mechanisms work to make God’s love challenging for me to experience securely.

    Yet, the solution is not focused on understanding God’s love. It’s growing my love relationship with God in my devotion, community connection with other delivers, and living as an urban missionary like Ray Comfort, asking God to use me as an evangelist that invest&invites others into a relationship with Jesus everywhere I go.

    The relationship is the real issue with having a right standing, posture, and position with God – not God’s everlasting love.

    Relating with God is a choice of the will and abiding with him in a simple relational way, as a Son to his daddy, is the principal activity I must master walking with Jesus.

    Thanks, Ed!


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