Friday, August 16, 2019

What Does It Mean to Love?

What Does It Mean to Love?
John 14:15 ESV
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.



John, the writer of the Gospel of John, wrote the book with this one thought in mind.: “… these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31 KJV). 

The value or worth we put on someone we love gives us a connection with this person and is the foundation of our relationship. God is our Creator, Redeemer, Provider, and Friend. As a Christian, we have a personal relationship with Him and therefore, we are greatly influenced by His love for us. “We love him, because he first loved us” (I John 4:19 KJV). Jesus is teaching the disciples that no amount of obedience is the true source of love. Genuine love comes from the Father, a gift of love. For by grace you have been saved through faith…not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). 

We have believed that our obedience is the proof of our love for Christ and that our obedience will gain us the love of the Father but, unfortunately, obedience does not gain us the love of the Father. His love is a gift given to us when we believe and trust in Him as our Savior. Our obedience flows from this supernatural gift of love that God has given to us. 

I John 2:3-5 says, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments…whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected…”  Receive Me, follow Me, believe in Me, love one another, trust in Me and rest in Me are some of His commands.  His commands are not burdensome, but trying to keep them perfectly is. Our focus is on our love for Christ as a truly extraordinary gift because we, as fallen people, cannot obey God perfectly.

Lord, thank You that Your commands are not burdensome.



Friday, August 9, 2019

Persecution, Is It a Blessing?

Persecution, Is It a Blessing?
2 Thessalonians 1:1-5 
“…We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring…”

As we read through the book of 2 Thessalonians, we see that there are only three chapters in the book with three main issues. The first issue mentioned was the increasing persecution of the church during the time of the Apostle Paul and others that were following Christ. The second issue was Eschatology the part of theology known as “The End Times,” or the “Day of the Lord.”  Chapter Three, speaks of vocational enthusiasm or the lack thereof. There were misconceptions about why they should continue to work if Jesus is coming back soon.

Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica to encourage them to stand firm in their faith and look to God for strength during times of persecution. In 2 Thessalonians 1:3, Paul exhorts them to continue to love one another and to grow greater in their love and dependence on each other. These mistreated people were growing in their faith. They were commending other Christians to endure persecution without wavering while bearing their oppression and abuse patiently.

How should we view persecution? We, as Christians, don’t like persecution but know that it does bring us towards maturity and that it is an honor to be considered worthy to suffer for His name. “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:41). Persecution does bring blessings and proves God’s righteous judgment that these early Christian missionaries could hope in Christ and in what He was accomplishing through them. 


Lord, persecution is a blessing.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Do We Really Believe This?

Do We Really Believe This?
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 KJV
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Do we really believe what we say we believe? Do we endure the hardships of life and grow through those hard times? Are we secure in the fact that even though our physical bodies change, our spiritual life in Christ is renewed day by day?  We who have the immense privilege of knowing Christ, need not lose heart, quit or give in, for we who endure, gain strength by renewing the inner man.

Your troubles and trials, along with the pain and difficulties of life are contributors to your inner strength. It may well be in the trial of your physical life you will undoubtedly be lead to find spiritual strength. You can endure the testings of this world when you hold them in the highest regard of the spiritual over the physical. You will persevere when you treasure the eternal over the temporal.

What does the eternal weight of glory mean? It means we will praise, worship, serve, and give glory to God more than ever before. The only suffering that generates this eternal weight of glory is that suffering for Christ’s sake and that which brings honor and glory to His name. What it doesn’t mean is that it is for every illness, or pain in life we endure. The suffering which comes as a result of living the Christian life to the glory of God is the eternal weight of glory



Lord, help me to see beyond the physical pain that I may praise and worship You with passionate love, an eternal weight of glory.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Depression, Is It Sin?

Depression, Is It Sin?

Is depression sin? Are there reasons for depression that we aren’t aware of and yet we believe it’s sin? Can we detour the unfortunate situations in our lives that cause depression or are they out of our control? Job suffered circumstances that overwhelmed him and physically impaired him. Was he in sin?  If someone suffers from a health issue that is debilitating and becomes depressed due to medication, are they in sin? Do we try to understand what a person is going through and with love and compassion walk with them in their path of depression and pain?

If a person that is suffering from depression is a Christian, we may find Gal 6:2 an important  Scripture to read and obey. “Bear one another's burdens . . .” The death of a loved one or illnesses that are irreversible can cause depression. Accidents leaving a person disabled can cause a person to become depressed. Some people don’t recognize their depression because they’ve blocked it out of their mind. Why? People have been taught that depression is a sin. Not all depression is caused by unconfessed sin. Most depression is from physical or emotional atrocities which have had devastating effects.

Sometimes, we believe that Christians are free from all despairing situations but this is not true. We are fallen men and women and sometimes we simply struggle with life. We live in sin scarred bodies and in a sin-cursed world. Depression is not caused solely by our sinning, but because of life itself. If a person has not dealt with their sin, they can suffer from depression. But, to say that all people suffering from depression are in sin is damaging. The Apostle Paul said, “we despaired of life itself” (2 Corinthians 1:8).  In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Christ said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul’s reply, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 


Lord, may I have compassion on those who are in depression. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

A Heart of Bitterness

 A Heart of Bitterness
Ruth 1:19-20 
So they both went until they came to Bethlehem. And when they had come to Bethlehem, all the city was stirred because of them, and the women said, “Is this Naomi?” She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.”

As Naomi enters Bethlehem, with Ruth by Naomi’s side, the people of the city begin to move about asking, “Is this Naomi?” Ten years have gone by since Naomi lived there, and they didn’t know the overwhelming effect that bitterness had produced in her heart. To those standing near, Naomi bitterly replied, “Don’t call me Naomi, which means, pleasant, but call me Mara, meaning, bitter, for the LORD has brought me home to Bethlehem empty.”

Satan wanted Naomi to focus on the negative, those areas of weakness where unforgiveness, anger, feelings of bitterness lived and would breed discouragement. She couldn’t think clearly when she focused on the lies of Satan. His lies divided her mind and caused her to shift the blame to God and of course, to others. Naomi’s bitterness was an attitude of deep discontentment that poisoned her soul and destroyed her peace. A sour Christian is one of Satan's greatest trophies and why the Bible says, "See to it…that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15). If we continue to live in bitterness, this harmful condition will eventually be passed on to others causing immense negative effects. 

How do you handle bitterness? Do you confess your bitterness to God, and seek His forgiveness and help? “Yes!” Christ took upon Himself every sin you ever committed—including your bitterness when He died on the cross. Whatever the cause, commit your bitterness to God, crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires. Through faith in Christ, walk by the Spirit not gratifying the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). 


Lord, forgive my bitterness and fill my heart with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).

Friday, July 12, 2019

"Thy Will Be Done"

“Thy Will Be Done”
Matthew 6:9-10 KJV

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 



Our Lord instructed His disciples on prayer and gave them an example to follow not as a magical formula, but to commune with God. This prayer is short and to the point never mentioning the time of day in which to pray, how long to pray, or the position in which one is to pray. But, we are instructed to, “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer usually comes from a heart which is truly committed to Christ generating thankfulness for all He has done. 

Prayer demonstrates our faith and trust in God in discerning His will for our lives. There are some who are fearful of God’s plan. The thought of surrendering to His will is overwhelming and at times even terrifying. These dear people are sure that if they were to yield to God, they would suffer painful, uncertain times in some distant and dangerous place. They can imagine themselves wasting away in solitude while being miserable in their existence. Psalm 33:11 says, “The counsel (plan) of the LORD standeth (endures, stands firm) for ever, the thoughts (intentions) of his heart to all generations.” 

They must understand that the plan or will of God comes from an expression of His heart. I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” The will of God works in our lives to bring about His highest goal, glorifying Him through His unchangeable love for us. Our prayer should be that God, by His grace, would transform us making us willing and able to know and obey His will. And may we ever be mindful, that God designs His will, from His heart.


Lord, I pray “Thy will be done” in my life, to bring glory to Your name.

Friday, July 5, 2019

I'm Troubled, but Not in Despair

I’m Troubled, but Not in Despair
Psalm 143:4,8,10 
Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart is appalled (greatly dismayed) within me... Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You... Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul; Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God;

David was seeking God for deliverance in a time of a great trial. For us to know that through God’s faithfulness we are guarded on every side and that He will guide us through our times of trouble is a refuge to us. Sometimes, our “feelings” get in the way and we are “overwhelmed” within. David wrote; “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? (Psalm 42:11). Our feelings can sometimes govern our ability to think right and we lose sight of what God is doing in and through us. 

David asked for forgiveness and was seeking God’s mercy and deliverance from his many enemies. With troubled feelings, he pleaded for the light of God’s countenance to shine upon him and for God to give him wisdom and understanding. As Christians, we too should be seeking God, asking for His mercy to deliver us from those whose aim is to hurt and ruin us. In the New Testament, Paul wrote, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair”; (2 Corinthians 4:8). Paul, like David, was showing that in the conflict of soul and endless suffering, he was not crippled or cast down, but strengthened through Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

Maybe, it’s not an enemy that seeks to cause pain, but a friend or a loved one that has brought despair and heartache. This can cause tremendous suffering, agony, and torment to the soul. Ask God to teach you how you should walk through this time of distress and trust Him to do His will in you. 


Lord, I trust You with my troubled soul.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Will I Hear?

Will I Hear?

 Psalm 85:8 KJV
I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints:

The Lord is encouraging us to listen to His Word and His heart when He says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

The soul that hears the Lord and receives the words of comfort from His lips is truly blessed. The divine whispers of God cannot be compared to the complaints, protests, and grievances of this sinful world. When our ears listen to the voice of God and dismiss the voices from without, we are more inclined to hear what truth teaches. To have our eyes closed to exterior things and matters of this world and have our eyes fixed on Christ brings true contentment, rest, and peace. 

The Lord gives understanding to the hearer and His Words are strength and life to those that listen. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). We are to write the Words of God on our heart (Proverbs 3:3) and meditate (Psalms 63:6) on them earnestly. The temptation will surely come, and we will need His strength to overcome. We need to walk before the Lord by faith that we may be defended against the attacks of evil.

Are you listening and attentive to the truth of the Word of God? Is there a longing for knowledge and wisdom to live your life on His behalf?  In the still of the night, does He hear your prayer or do the clamorous voices of this world drown out, His sweet voice?

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee (Psalm 143:8).

Lord, I want to hear Your Word and heed what it is saying.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Our Substitute

Our Substitute
Isaiah 53:4-5 KJV
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

The name Isaiah means Salvation of the Lord. Isaiah 53 is prophecy, a vision given to Isaiah 700 years before Jesus came. There have been many visions in the Bible, but none surpass the vision God gave Isaiah depicting the cross and all that would follow.

He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free!  For, O my God it found out me!

The Pharisees accused Jesus of being a blasphemer claiming to be equal with God and that God killed Him for His blasphemies. Surely, He didn’t die for His own sin, for His own iniquities, or His own transgressions? It was our griefs, our sorrows, that He suffered and died for. He took our place and is our substitution for sin. 

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray–– I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Amazing love, How can it be That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

     “And Can It Be, That I Should Gain?”  by Charles Wesley

We as Christians are so deeply moved by the amazing realities of this prophecy. The details revealed hundreds of years before they came to pass point to Christ and no other. We know that there is salvation in no other name but Jesus (Philippians 2:9-10). One day when we enter into eternity, there’ll be no more sin, for He took away the sin that belonged to us and put it on Himself.

Lord, thank You for such amazing love, that You died for me.





Friday, June 14, 2019

Forgive Them

 Forgive Them

                                               Luke 23:34
. . . Father, forgive them . . .

On December 7, 1941, Mitsuo Fuchida of the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force led a mission of surprise to destroy the United States’ Pacific Fleet on the islands of Hawaii. Mitsuo, with 179 fighter planes behind him cried, “Tora, Tora, Tora!” as they attacked the mighty fleet of American ships. In less than two hours, over 3,077 American Navy personnel lost their lives or were missing and 150 planes were destroyed.

Mitsuo would live through two narrow escapes. An emergency appendectomy put him in the ship’s hospital where he was ordered to stay. Disobeying this order, Mitsuo walked out of the ship’s hospital to the top deck. The Battle of Midway was unfolding before his eyes. Within seconds, the enemy planes blew a hole in the hospital side of the ship. All were lost. On August 5, 1945, Mitsuo left Hiroshima for a military conference. Several hours after his departure, America dropped the atomic bomb on this city. Devastation and bitterness filled Mitsuo’s heart.

After the war, Mitsuo was handed a tract that read, “I Was a Prisoner of Japan.” The pamphlet was written about a man named Jake DeShazer, who in the revenge of what had happened at Pearl Harbor, participated in an attack on Tokyo. He was captured in battle, put into a prisoner of war camp and brutally mistreated. He began to hate everything and everyone Japanese. While in captivity, he was given a Bible. As he read the Bible, he realized that Jesus Christ was his only hope. Jake DeShazer had gone from hating the Japanese to becoming a missionary in Japan. 

Mitsuo, now filled with hatred for America would experience God’s amazing Grace. He was given a Bible and soon would trust in Christ. Through the providence of God, Jake DeShazer and Mitsuo Fuchida would meet. They lovingly forgave one another, as God in Christ had forgiven them and became friends (Ephesians 4:32). Only God can mend the heart of man and create in him the joy and peace of forgiveness.

Lord, forgive me as I forgive them.

Friday, June 7, 2019

God's Purpose

God’s Purpose 
Ruth 4:1-10

God’s plan for Ruth and Boaz is in full bloom. A public sale is being held in the marketplace at the gate of the city of Bethlehem. Is the property that belonged to Naomi and Ruth going to the highest bidder? According to the law, lost property could be redeemed by a near kinsman or relative, providing that he could meet the demands of the debt. The widow too could be redeemed if the near relative was able and willing to take her as his wife. These two things were on the action block––Naomi’s property and Ruth’s widowhood––were up for sale and in need of a redeemer. 

What a long night, it must have been for poor Ruth waiting for the one who would redeem her. Imagine the fears, the questions that came to her mind, and the overwhelming debt that was on her. Boaz met Ruth’s nearer Kinsman face to face and asked, “Can you redeem Ruth, and will you do so?” The nearer kinsman said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance.” He was unwilling or unable to redeem her––how Ruth’s heart must have sung out in joy to know that the one that loved her would redeem her. Boaz called a public meeting and counted out the money to pay the debt, receiving the title to the property and immediately wedding bells were ringing for the poor servant girl, Ruth.

The love story of Ruth is a wonderful picture of Christ and His redemptive purpose. As Christians, we have so many fears about life and death that our hearts become overwhelmed at times. What about the debt we owe to God for our great sin? Who is our “nearer kinsman?” Who will pay the debt we owe for the countless sins charged to our account? Only Jesus Christ can fulfill all the requirements as our kinsman-redeemer in His finished work on the Cross. The debt is paid, all our sin is forgiven. Oh, praise His glorious name!

Lord, Your gift of salvation is wondrous.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Telling God's Story

Telling God’s Story

The greatest hope of Christian parents is to see their child one day come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Most parents would climb the highest mountain or fight the fiercest giant if it would assure their child’s salvation. As parents, we have the awesome privilege of being able to tell our children of the powerful life-changing message of the gospel. The Bible tells us that the gospel is the power of God unto Salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

The gospel story is filled with breathtaking adventure, suspense, and drama. Every young child loves a story that is filled with excitement and anticipation. Recall with me the story of Jesus after spending much time ministering to the multitudes become weary and tired. Being fully God but fully man, He withdrew Himself to the stern of the boat to sleep. While He was sleeping, there arose an immense storm and the disciples became fearful that they might perish. The wind and waves were most likely reaching gale storm proportions. (A gale is a strong wind not a hurricane but forceful. A storm may include rain, thunder, and lightning, hail, sleet, snow, or wind-––or a combination of them all). If this storm was not of such enormous magnitude, why were the disciples, who were experienced fishermen, so afraid?

We understand that the storm was to try the faith of the disciples and cause them to cry out to God. Their confidence was appearing weak and our Lord was assuring them that He had the power to calm any storm that they may find themselves in. His words to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” They were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” God’s wonderful, mighty power was made obvious to them that storm filled day. 

We, too, can share with our children the magnificent power of Christ found in the gospel.

Lord, thank You for Your incredible story.



Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Given His Name

Given His Name
While working in a Pregnancy Resource Center,  I discovered that there were three possible decisions that every woman must make. Will the client carry the baby, adopt, or abort? The decision to adopt seems to be the hardest concept for some women to accept. The statements I personally have heard are: “I could never do that!” “No, I have heard such terrible stories about children that have been adopted.” “No, I don’t want anyone to know that I was pregnant.” “My parents will disown me.” “No, I would rather abort than adopt, I have things I want to do with my life.”

Life or death is the final option here. What will the young woman’s verdict be for this innocent human life? Why is adoption viewed as a stigma with dishonor, disgrace, and reproach credited to it?  The definition for the word adoption: “the giving to anyone the name and place and privileges of a son/daughter who is not a son/daughter by birth.”  There is no stigma in adoption. It is the banner of love over their life. Adoption means that they were loved with a special love that few people will ever experience.

To those of you who have been adopted, your mom and dad cherished the idea of having a baby and loved, you before they knew you existed. If there is any shame in the word “adopted” – it has been covered in the gift of giving you their name. 

SPIRITUAL ADOPTION: An act of God's grace by which He brings men into the number of His redeemed family, and makes them partakers of all the blessings He has provided for them. He has granted to them His precious promises, and through them, they may become partakers of the divine nature––having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:3,4). Clearly, adoption is conveyed in a favorable light through God’s Word. Those that have been adopted physically have received a tremendous blessing, a privilege exemplified by our adoption into God’s family.


Lord, thank You for giving me Your name.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Is Parenting Easy?

Is Parenting Easy?
Proverbs 23:26 
My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

When you received the news that you were expecting your first child, your heart was most likely giddy with excitement. Your enthusiasm grew more and more with each day and a multitude of questions fill your mind. Can I be a good parent to this child that God has so graciously given me? Will I be someone my child can and will trust? How will I ever do this? God, will You please help me?

To set your mind at ease, there are no perfect parents that have ever existed or will at any time exist. If you think you must be that perfect parent, then you won’t need a perfect Savior to redeem you from your sins. As a parent, you will make plenty of mistakes in pursuing the role of Mother or Father. You must remember that you have the Holy Spirit to guide, direct and comfort you through this life long journey. 

Living the Gospel daily as you “parent,” will encourage you and strengthen your faith in Christ. The power of the Gospel is not to be set aside after salvation, but to be lived out daily before young eyes to see and follow. The Gospel is the “good news” that you do not have to earn your salvation. God’s work of redemption has already been completed through the shedding of Christ’s precious blood and death on the cross. He was buried and rose again the third day ascending into Heaven and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. 

Gospel parenting is preparing your child to believe in what Jesus has done for them and to put their faith and trust in Christ, and in Christ alone. Effective parents do not center their lives around their children but center their children around God’s dear Son. You, as a parent, must realize that you are utterly dependent upon God for parenting and responsible to Him as a parent.


Lord, may I center my life around You.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs
 1 Corinthians 13:4,5 
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

Throughout the Word of God, accounting terms are used to describe the forgiving work of Christ. When you were saved He did not impute, count, reckon, or consider your sins against you.  “How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity. . .” (Psalm 32:2).  The pardoning work of God doesn’t credit or assign sin to you. It doesn’t produce long-term resentment but rather, it produces love and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

In I Corinthians 13, Paul is showing the model for love. Love doesn’t hold others accountable for wrong deeds or keep any kind of record. It doesn’t recite all the sinful things done because love never makes memories out of offenses. It never rehearses the injustices executed until they’re so embedded that you can’t live your life in freedom. Love is unable to do this.

To think no evil (I Corinthians 13:5 KJV) means we don’t take into account wrong or evil we have suffered at the hands of someone or hold it against them indefinitely. While suffering on the cross, Jesus spoke these words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Holding no grudges and keeping no record of wrong is what Paul is trying to encourage believers to do.

“. . . Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and. . . God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (I Corinthians 5:17-19).  As God has forgiven us and does not count our sins against us, we too, are to forgive and be reconciled to those who have sinned against us.


Lord, thank You for the love that reconciles sinners to God and keeps no record of wrongs.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Conditional or Grace

Conditional or Grace
Ephesians 2:1-10
“. . .by grace you have been saved. . .”

Have you ever felt that most of your relationships were overlaid with conditions? If you love me,  then will I love you. If you give to me, then I will give to you. When you serve me, then I will serve you. Will you ever find the right conditions to meet their needs? Because, then your happiness would be secure, or maybe not. Must I do something for you in order for you to accept me? Is the underlying message always the same; accomplishments and/or performance precedes approval?

Everyone knows what it’s like not to measure up to someone’s expectations. This oppressive conditionality is quite real in our society today and exhausting to live under. Not only do we see conditions, prerequisites, and requirements placed upon people in the world, but also in the life of many Christians. What about Grace? Grace is the outpouring of love that seeks you out when you have absolutely nothing to give in return. This love is not about preconditions that have requirements and accomplishments and need approval. It is about being loved when you are undeserving of that love, a gift of God’s grace, pure and simple.

The relationship where you continuously feel like you’re being evaluated and falling short of someone’s acceptance is an unhappy relationship. The Gospel liberates you from the judgment of God and of mankind. You’ll never measure up to the demands that are placed upon you and are therefore in need of a Savior.

It is an unconditional love that relieves the pressure of demands, forgives all our failures, and replaces our unrelenting fears with faith. Jesus Christ came to set us free from the tireless effort of justifying ourselves and finding approval in the eyes of men. The Bible is saturated with the message of Grace and the love that God lavishes upon us. Even though we may try to insist on paying our sin debt, the balance has been settled, paid in full, by His Grace! 



Lord, thank You for Your unconditional love.