The Economy of God’s Love


Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Isaiah 55:1b

“You who have no money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”


It’s an interesting marketing strategy to invite someone with no money to buy something. I highly doubt any of us would invite someone who we know clearly doesn’t have any money to go shopping, let alone would we ask them to buy something from us.

As I read this verse, I’m curious about Isaiah’s word choice. What’s the point in using the word buy if there’s no cost or money involved? Why not just say: “Come and get this; it’s free”? I believe the contradiction is meant to catch our attention—to cause us to pause and wonder. So, we’ll set up camp around this word today—buy—and see if there’s anything the Spirit might want to say to us.

Just as we come with nothing, we must learn to buy with nothing. To receive. Why? Because what we receive cannot be bought with money. It’s priceless. We cannot afford it. 

Psychoanalyst George Benson suggests that our “willingness to receive the love of God and others without earning it is at the heart of both psychological and spiritual growth.”1 Love, when given unconditionally, has the power to transform and change us in a way nothing else can.

Sadly, many of us don’t allow ourselves to be loved in this way. There’s a big difference between understanding a general concept of unconditional love and living in the embrace of it.

There’s a good bit of talk around self-love these days. Deemed essential to human mental, physical, and relational health, self-love encourages people to accept themselves for who they are (the good and the bad), practice self-compassion, and forgive themselves for making mistakes.2 At its core, the concept reveals the human desire and fundamental need for unconditional love in order to flourish.

Ironically, one of the most significant barriers to receiving the unconditional love of God is actually myself. I have a tendency to think God loves me in the way that I love me. If I feel good about who I am, then it’s easy to know God loves me. But if I feel bad about who I am, because of something I’ve done, failed at, or didn’t do, his love can appear much more questionable.

Thank goodness there’s a better way. We have access to a love far greater than any version we could give ourselves because it’s rooted in the love of a God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God’s love is a reflection of his character—not ours. His heart toward us does not change. His love changes us. 

We see this clearly on the last pages of our Bibles where the prophetic invitation of Isaiah is transformed into a final declaration: “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life’” (‭‭Rev.‬ ‭21‬:5–6).

As we live in the embrace of this love, we are transformed by it. All things are made new. We begin to take on the shape of love, reflecting what we receive back to God and to those around us. This is the purpose we were created for and the end toward which all creation is heading. 

Unconditional love is met with an unconditional response. All of me is given over to Jesus. This is not a one-time thing, but an all-the-time, everyday, moment-by-moment surrender. With every yes, every bit of myself that I give up, I actually become more and more who I was created to be.

Receiving God’s love for us results in loving ourselves. Not because we decided we were worth it, but because he did. This love costs nothing to buy because it cost everything to give. Leave your money behind. Will you receive it?


Jesus, thank you for revealing the boundless, unconditional, unchanging love of the Father. Everything I truly need is available in you. I’m sorry for the ways I attempt to buy what you freely and joyfully give, trusting more in my behavior than your unchanging affection for me. Holy Spirit, draw me further up and further into the love of the Father. Resting in your embrace, I receive your love for me. Amen.


Inviting the Holy Spirit to guide me, I ask myself these questions:

  1. Honestly, how receptive am I to love I did not earn? Are there any barriers that keep me from receiving this kind of love?
  2. How would I explain the difference between understanding God’s unconditional love for me in theory versus living in the reality of it?

For the Awakening,
Anna Grace Legband


  1. Quoted in George Benson, Surrender to Love, 74. 
  2. and

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

4 Responses

  1. I believe that the primary problem of receiving and thereby reflecting God’s love, is the fact that without the initial work of the Holy Spirit (prevenient grace), we sinful humans cannot even comprehend God’s love, much less receive it. Our natural response is to somehow show ourselves worthy, thereby indulging in “cheap grace “, which in reality isn’t grace at all.

  2. God created us in love, for love, and as love. First to receive from Him, then to give to others as an extension of His love.
    Sin has twisted it where love and lust are interchangeable. Where self-love disguises itself as true love by buffing our pride where self-inflated feelings override truth. If it feels good it must be good.
    Sin feels good until it’s exposed.
    God’s unconditional love isn’t about feelings, though you will experience the “Holy Spirit Goosebumps” at times. God’s love is a state of being, a “knowing” that never changes except to grow deeper roots.
    Doubt from the spirit of fear is a force field that keeps unbelievers and believers from diving into the pool of the unconditional love of God.
    “Fear not…” Isaiah 41:10

    Staying 💪’n Christ
    Ephesians 6:10
    Finally, staying strong in the Lord and in His mighty power

  3. As humans we are loved with a love that infinitely surpasses self-love and a forgiveness that is vastly more effective than self-forgiveness. The risen Jesus, the Creator in human flesh, has revealed God’s love and offered His forgiveness to whosoever will humbly and freely receive it. Let God’s Spirit align your heart to continually perceive and surrender to “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Truly receiving God’s love keeps us so enthralled with His glorious presence that we forget about ourselves and keep our focus on Him.

  4. God’s agape love is the currency of Christ’s Kingdom. It was introduced in abundance and is offered to all the world through Jesus Christ. God gives it lavishly. Followers of Christ have no excuse for hoarding it, feeling want of it, or denying it to others. God will put people in our path who He wants to love through us and draw into the Kingdom with us. The outpouring of that love can look very different …. It depends not on what I have that I view as “extra” that I have to give or even what I think that someone needs. It depends on what God calls me to give to another. It may be time, attentiveness, listening, use of resources and gifts in my stewardship, hospitality in my home, helping identify other resources nearby, teaching, sharing in celebration or grief, admonishing in love, praying, or any number of other things. It is important to ask God, “How may I show your love today with this person?” Listen to God. Serve out of His heart, will, and call, not out of my notion of what someone needs. In the Kingdom we dwell together, unified in Spirit and in surrender of all for God’s use, and we have and share all things in common according to each one’s need (in the Kingdom.) Believers may come in and go out (back into the economy of the world which we will see is characterized primarily by self-interest motivations), no by love of God offered to one another. But only followers of Christ may enter in…..and the more we learn to carry the Kingdom with us into the world, the more His Kingdom comes on Earth as it is in Heaven… “Oh that you would bless me, Lord, and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” (and free from inflicting pain on others.)

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