February 13, 2013
Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross (Colossians 2:13-14, NLT).
Friend to Friend
I love the story of a man who came home from work, picked up the paper and settled into his favorite chair for a few precious and well-deserved moments of solitude after a long day at work. He had just begun to relax when his son burst through the front door. Spotting his dad, the little boy raced across the room, flung himself against his father’s knees and said, “Daddy, I love you!” The father gave him a pat on the head and said rather absentmindedly, “Yes, Son, I love you, too.” Picking up his paper, the father continued reading, but the boy was not satisfied. He leaned a little further into the newspaper barricade and said, “But Daddy, I really, really love you!” The man took a deep breath, put the paper down and hugging the boy said, “Yes, Son. I love you just as much.” Again, he picked the paper up and resumed reading. Finally, the little boy could not stand it any longer! He jumped up on his father’s lap, crushing the newspaper and any thoughts of relaxation the dad might have had. “Son, what is it that you want?” the father tiredly asked. In response, the boy threw his arms around his dad and gave him a big squeeze, explaining, “I love you so much, Daddy, and I’ve just got to do something about it!”
That is exactly what God said to Jesus. “Son, I love them so much that I have to do something about it!” Then He sent His one and only perfect Son to earth where He would live and die for you and for me. God’s love is an unconditional love – a love with no strings attached –a love worth celebrating.
In the Bible, we find the story of a sinful woman, a prostitute who had spent her entire life seeking a love with no strings attached. Then Jesus came to town and into her life, and everything changed. When Simon, one of the local Pharisees, invited Jesus to his home for dinner, the sinful woman walked through her shame and fear, and went to meet Jesus. Everyone at the party, including Simon, knew who she was. Simon would never have allowed this kind of woman to enter his home, but when a Rabbi was invited to someone’s house, others could stop by and listen to the conversation. She came, knowing that everyone at the party would recognize and judge her, but her desire to meet Jesus was greater than her pride.
Emptiness and sin eating away at her soul, this woman was tired of being used, unwanted and unloved. She came, and Jesus met her there, love and forgiveness in His hands. As the love of Jesus enveloped her very soul, she fell at His feet, weeping tears of worship and praise. Her natural response was to love Him so much that she had to do something about it! In her hands was her most precious possession, a bottle of very expensive perfume she used in her “business.” This woman was not wealthy by any means and worked the streets, selling her body in order to live. She could have put a small amount on the feet of Jesus, and it would have been a great financial sacrifice. But she brought it all and gave it all. She came, totally abandoning herself and all she had to Jesus. His response was to love her, unconditionally and completely.
Like this sinful woman, we are spiritually bankrupt, looking for love in all the wrong places. Jesus came, spelling Himself out in a language you and I can understand – a message of love. There is no condemnation with Him, friend. He adores you just as you are. He wants to spend time with you, laugh with you, dry your tears and fill your heart with new dreams. Today, no matter where you are or where you have been, He stands waiting for you. Come to Him. He loves you, no matter how ugly the sin or how great the failure may be. Come to His love. Celebrate Jesus!
Father, I recognize Your unconditional love for me. I do not understand it or deserve it, but I know that it is available to me. Thank You for loving me. Today, I accept and celebrate Your love, coming to You just as I am. Please forgive my sin and cleanse my heart and soul. I surrender to You, Your love and Your plan for my life.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Right now – celebrate God’s unconditional love. Read and memorize Romans 8:38-39. Right now – celebrate your spiritual bankruptcy. Read and memorize Romans 3:23. Right now – celebrate God’s payment for your sin. Read and memorize John 3:16. Right now – celebrate and walk, by faith, in His unconditional love and forgiveness! Read and memorize Romans 5:5.
More from the Girlfriends
I can get so busy that I tend to go through each day, unaware of God’s work around me. I take His unconditional love for granted. I forget just how much Jesus paid with His death on the cross so that I can take each step of my day in peace and victory. Join me in making a new commitment to celebrate Jesus every moment…of every day.
A daily time alone with God in prayer and Bible study will strengthen you to face whatever life throws at you. Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible study, Light for the Journey, for practical ways to tap into the power of God’s Word. The first study of 2013 is Power Up With Proverbs, and it’s not too late to join!
FREE MP3s on Mary’s website in the Freebies Section!
Do you or someone you love struggle with depression? Mary’s book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, offers practical steps you can take to get out and stay out of that pit. And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.
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Girlfriends in God
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