Riley & A Lesson About God’s Constant, 100% ‘all-in’ Love

Every morning after I wake up I head into the bathroom to begin getting ready for the day. And every day when I make that trip Riley, my cat, follows me into the bathroom. When he realizes I’ve committed to a location for a time he begins to ask for attention. It begins with him sitting on the floor behind me as I peer at my bleary image in the mirror contemplating shaving. Then, once I’ve committed to said shaving, Riley jumps up on the counter to get closer to me so he can more strongly ask for attention.

So I rub his head, pet his back, brush his fur…his appetite for love seems to be insatiable…for as long as I will pet him, Riley will revive the affection…and I love it! There are times I wonder if I could pet him so much his hair falls out because once he is in that affectionate mood he just soaks up all the love you can give him. Unfortunately, life, work and responsibilities call out to me and I can only give him a short period of attention — there is an ending to our “love-session” as I eat breakfast, gather my bag and coat and head out for the day…I have things TO DO!

I’m so glad God’s love isn’t like that…God doesn’t have anything He’d rather “do” then show you absolute, infinite, focused, all-in, love. He isn’t looking at a clock measuring when He needs to leave and then cutting off the affection to gather His things on His way to work. His love is 100% available and active ALL THE TIME!

I once was sharing with a mentor of mine about my spiritual walk and relationship with God. I said, “I just can’t understand why God loves me.” My mentor responded by saying that I was asking the wrong question…it isn’t why or how can God love me. In fact, there is no question at all. God loves me because that is what He is: God IS love. He went on to say that to ask why God loves you is like asking why and orange tree bears oranges or an apple tree yields the fruit of apples. They do that because that is what they are. An orange tree won’t bear apples and an apple tree won’t bear oranges…they bear according to what they are. God IS LOVE therefore God cannot do anything BUT love. God loves ME. All of me! He created me. He knows me. And He loves me with an steadfast, secure, never-failing, never-ending, sacrificial, all-seeking, all-knowing, all-encompassing love. Nothing I can do can increase it. Nothing I ever do will decrease it. I cannot earn it. I cannot purchase it. I cannot outrun it. God’s love is alway there.

I love Riley. I love my wife WAY MORE…of course! But I cannot imagine dedicating my whole life to showing my wife (or Riley) love 100% of the time with 100% of my focus and 100% of my energy and 100% of my dedication. I’ve tried to outlast Riley. On days off, when I have the time to kick-back I start to think that “today will be the day I ‘out-love’ him.” Yeah. Unless Riley gets distracted and runs off to play, I have not once yet been able to outlast him. And, when Riley does come back to me after he has played for a bit, I still shower him with affection.

Our desire for God’s love will NEVER be greater than His desire, ability and action in loving us!

If I can do that for my cat…image how God is for us! God’s love is 100% ALL THE TIME! Full strength — NEVER diluted. His love never leaves. He does not get distracted. God never decides, “Well, she’s run off again to be busy so I guess I’ll get on with my days and do some chores.” In fact, we are told in scripture that the very same quality and quantity of love God has in the Godhead between Father, Son and Holy Spirit is what He gives to us! In Jesus’ priestly prayer for all who come to faith in him he says,

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. – John 17:22-23

If Christ is in us and we are in Christ, that means God is with us wherever we go! He is with us in our play…with us when we go to work. He is near to us in all we do because God never leaves us. When we turn to Him for love He is always there — always loving — always caring — always for us, cheering us on. His love is the real thing…it can be the air we breath. May you believe this, be encouraged and know incredible peace today as you rest in God’s inexhaustible steadfast love for you.

“The Real Thing” by Vertical Worship

I’ve only seen a love full of conditions
Hiding with the fear that it can break
I’ve searched the world to get a taste of heaven
But all along it was heaven chasing me


Your love is the real thing — it’s a real thing
It’s the air I breathe
Your love it’s got a hold on me and it’s holding me
It is everything — it’s the real thing

Your grace is more than just an obligation
You give without a promise of return
Your mercy looks beyond my reputation
For I belong in heaven’s destiny
For I belong in heaven’s destiny


It’s not complacent, it’s always chasing, it won’t abandon
Jesus, Your love for me
Not disappointing, won’t leave me wanting, its overwhelming
Jesus, Your love for me
I know I need it, I know its worth it, the cross, it proves it
Jesus, Your love for me

Your love is the real thing it’s a real thing
It’s the air I breathe
Your love it’s got a hold on me and it’s holding me
It is everything it’s the real thing

There’s a place for me and it’s heavenly at the table with The King
It’s the real thing