I will love them freely. (Hosea 14:4)

How much does your love cost? How much do you extract from someone in return for your love? How many diamonds must he buy to secure your love? How beautiful does she have to make herself to guarantee your continued love? How obedient do your children have to be to ensure your love? How many toys do your parents have to buy you to make you love them? How much does your love cost?

How much does God’s love cost? How much do we have to give Him? How much do we have to pay Him? How much do we have to do or say? How many laws do we have to keep? And for how long? The answer to all these questions is zero—nothing—nil. “I will love them freely.”

This is written over every page of God’s dealings with sinners. When we look at Abraham or Moses or David, we hear God saying, “I will love them freely.” When we look at Peter or Thomas or Saul of Tarsus, we hear, “I will love them freely.” When we see God’s people restored to God’s land, we hear, “I will love them freely.” When we see Christ with arms outstretched on Calvary’s cross, we hear, “I will love them freely.” When the Holy Spirit is poured out on Christ’s crucifiers at Pentecost, we hear, “I will love them freely.” Throughout all church history, the church has heard, “I will love them freely.”

And what about your own life, child of God? Is not “I will love you freely,” written above it? How much did God’s love cost you? How much did you pay for a godly upbringing? How much did you pay for faithful pastors? What was the price of your justification? How much for your adoption? Sanctification? Zero—nothing—nil. “I will love them freely.” If freely you have received, then freely give.