Something occurred today that has caused me endless guilt and grief on numerous previous occasions . . . I missed church. An hour away from time to leave I received a phone call that required all the time I had built in to allow myself time to shower, prep, and make sure the family was ready. In years past, I would have been defeated and hung my head in shame . . . how could I say I love God if I missed a church service? I would have felt nothing more than a hypocrite.
Now, to quote my dad, and to keep from offending those who would consider a use of profanity as further proof of my backslidden state, . . . That’s just a bunch of hogwash!
To think that God’s love for me has anything to do with something I could do, should do, would do, or am supposed to do is just garbage. God’s love for me and you is not based on ANYTHING done by man but based solely on the work done by his son Jesus.
In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul tells us “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
God’s love is a gift. Do you know what a gift is? A gift is something given willingly to someone without payment. We did nothing for it. And, if we did nothing for it, we can do nothing to lose it!
Romans 8:35-39 from The Message says it like this . . . Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM GOD’S LOVE FOR US!! Let’s illustrate this:
I missed church today . . . He still loves me
I disrespected my wife today . . . He still loves me
I yelled at my kids last week . . . He still loves me
I looked just a little too long at the provocative picture that appeared in my Facebook feed . . . He still loves me
In private conversation I’d have chosen to not use the word hogwash above . . . He still loves me
Do you get it yet? God’s love for me is not based on my performance it never was and it never will be. I did nothing for Jesus to come and die for me and I can never do anything to earn it or deserve it.
The beauty of all this is He feels the same for you. You did nothing to earn His love and the only thing you have do to receive it is believe it.
So, step out from under the guilt umbrella and rain clouds (see Charlie Brown, Eeyore, and Jesus), and enjoy His love.
Whatever I do, He still loves me. Whatever you do, He still loves you. Let’s believe it and rest in it.