Everything changes when we realize that we are God’s representatives here on earth. Every interaction becomes an opportunity to show others that same love that God generously offered us.
When Jesus said that we need to be reconciled to those we have wronged before offering our gift at the altar (i.e. before worshiping God), I think he was getting at this truth: when it comes to love for God and love for people, you can’t have one without the other.
The command to love our enemies sounds crazy until we remember that Jesus loved us when we were his enemies.
Many believe that love is just an emotion; a feeling that comes and goes. That idea couldn’t be further from the truth.
In a way we are all that woman caught in the act of adultery. None of us is perfect (see Romans 3:23) and no matter how “big” or “small” our sins are, we all have some reason to feel ashamed when we approach Jesus.
It’s not uncommon to hear people say that the God of the Old Testament is angry and judgmental, while the God we see in the New Testament is loving and gracious. Almost as if they were two different beings. The promise referenced in Micah 7:20 (first found in Genesis 15) tells us a different story.
Many think that God’s “modus operandi” is anger. They think that he is furious with us and that he will only change his attitude when we approach him in repentance for our sins. But if we think like that, we are reading the story backwards.
We were all once the “Prodigal Son,” but if we are not careful we can easily become the older brother. It is in that dangerous place of thinking that we can earn God’s love that we are capable of condemning our brothers and sisters whom Jesus died to save.
The mistakes of your past do not affect the love that God has for you and they can’t cancel the purpose that He has for your life. Remember that when your past tries to convince you that you are unqualified to fulfill the calling that God has for you today.
How good it is to know that God does not wait for us to solve our problems on our own, but as soon as we make the decision to return home he rushes out to meet us.
When we approach God to pray, the first thing that often comes to mind is our mistakes. Perhaps there have been times when you didn’t even dare to pray because of the guilt and shame that you felt. The only antidote is the Gospel.
You are not just a face in the crowd or a number in a church’s attendance report. Luke 15:4, Hebrews 12:2 and Isaiah 53:11 teach us a startling truth: On the cross Jesus was thinking of you. Remember that today.
It is amazing to me that Jesus unapologetically preached a Scripture-based morality, and yet people with questionable morals were drawn to him in an almost inexplicable way. How can it be that these people did not feel judged by Jesus and his teaching?
Today’s thought is very simple, and I think that’s exactly what I need sometimes. Not to understand some complicated concept from the Bible, but to meditate on a simple, profound truth like this: God delights in me.
We can only give what we possess. If we are full of anger, it will overflow onto those around us. If we have a healthy love for ourselves, we will be able to give that love to others.