Tag Archives: Unconditional Love

Exodus 29; John 8; Proverbs 5; Galatians 4

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

John 8:1-11 (NLT)

The compassion and forgiveness that Jesus displays here always surprises me, but it shouldn’t.  That is his character: one of unconditional love and forgiveness.  I wonder how often I am quick to assume that Jesus would shun me or punish me for the way I behave when in reality his reaction would be one of grace and forgiveness.  Jesus, help me to fully dwell in and understand your character.  Forgive me for being quick to superimpose my misconceptions about you in my life.

In the end you will groan in anguish
    when disease consumes your body.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
    If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
13 Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
    Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
    and now I must face public disgrace.”

Proverbs 5:11-14 (NLT)

There are often mornings I wake up for work, too tired to do anything but drag myself out of bed 15 minutes before I have to go and get myself ready.  On those days, I get to work on time, but I miss out on the valuable time I can have with the Lord if I get out of bed even 30 minutes early.  God wants to meet with me on those first quiet and precious hours of my morning and if I miss them, I am less aware of God’s presence throughout my day.  Waking up early takes discipline, but, oh, it is so worth it in the long run.  Lord, teach me discipline so that I might grow in you and feel your presence in a deeper way in my daily life.

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

Galations 4:4-7 (NLT)

I. LOVE. THIS. PASSAGE.  There is so much freedom and joy in it!  God sent his son to face the pain and the anguish of death and that bears much deep sorrow, but there is incredible hope in it also!  God did this for a reason; he did so to adopt me as his own child.  I am part of God’s family and because of that I never again have to worry about being captured and controlled by sin.  I am an heir to the throne of THE king and that is something to sing and dance about (cue dance party music)!  Lord, thank you so much that you have not only saved me from sin but you have adopted me as your own child.  Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your treasured family.  Teach me to truly know and believe that I am yours everyday forever, especially in the deepest depths of my darkest day.

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Galatians, John, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs, Uncategorized

Joshua 4; Psalms 129-131; Isaiah 64; Matthew 12

All of us are dirty with sin.

All the right things we have done are like filthy pieces of cloth.

All of us are like dead leaves,

and our sins, like the wind, have carried us away…

But Lord, you are our father.

We are like clay, and you are the potter;

your hands made us all.

Lord, don’t continue to be angry with us;

don’t remember our sins forever.

Please, look at us,

because we are your people. Isaiah 64:6, 8-9 (NCV)

I reflect on God as Father.

He made me. He gave me form. He gave me character. He gave me abilities. He gave me free will.

He gives me the freedom to make choices. And, in spite of the bad choices that I make in my lifetime, He loves me…unconditionally.

I am aware of my sin, small on the worldly continuum, but sin just the same. I am conscious of my mistakes, of my poor decisions. I know that I have sinned and fallen short, yet I will never be forsaken. He meets me where I am. He is with me in the midst of my failings. He is with me in the midst of the consequences.

Lord, if you punished people for all their sins,

no one would be left, Lord.

But you forgive us…

People…put your hope in the Lord

because he is loving

and able to save.

He will save [everyone]

from all their sins. Psalm 130:3-4a, 7-8 (NCV)

I am mindful of His forgiveness and His lack of condemnation. I am awakened to the knowledge that Christ died for me while I was still His enemy, before I even knew His name.

I consider His mercy and grace, a banner of love, an assurance of hope.

I am amazed by His goodness and glory. I am overwhelmed by His affections for me, staggered by His acceptance. I am uplifted by His redemption. I am encouraged by His restoration. I am comforted by His protection and provision.

I am grateful I am His child, His daughter. I am privileged to call Him Father.

 

 

[Everyone] put your hope in the Lord

because he is loving

and able to save. Psalm 130:7 (NCV)

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Isaiah, Joshua, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

Numbers 30; Psalms 74; Isaiah 22; 2 Peter 3

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: To the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. The Lord is not slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness.

But God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but he wants all people to change their hearts and lives.

Try to be at peace with God. Remember that we are saved because our Lord is patient. 2 Peter 3:8-9, 14b-15a (NCV)

God is patient with you…Remember that we are saved because our Lord is patient.”

I am saved because He is patient.

God is patient with me.

I am struck by ‘patience’.

Patience – forbearance – longanimity – Good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence.

For so many years of my life, I heard from religion, Old Testament understandings of a wrathful God. I heard fire and brimstone teachings, crafted to cause shame at my ineptitude. I heard John 3:16, not through the devotion of unconditional love, but through a filter of heaped coals on my sinful head.

In this wrong-mindedness, I thought God could never be truly pleased, truly happy with me. I envisioned Him to be frustrated, irritated, and impatient with my own failures and the abhorrent behavior of the world. I saw an image of shaking head, wagging finger, and tapping foot.

And then I encountered real love, arms stretched wide, and I walked through the door to grace.

I came face to face with Truth and the experience of those tiny glimpses of an immense God changed my perspective.

Today, I see the reality of His patience.

His patience is good-natured – having an easygoing and cheerful disposition.

His patience is full of tolerance – a disposition that allows freedom of choice and behavior.

His patience is bigger than any shortcomings or imperfections. It offers the chance to be found, the chance for transformation.

His patience presents the opportunity for peace.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 2 Peter, Isaiah, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Numbers 4, Psalm 38, Song of Solomon 2, Hebrews 2

Read - http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Num.%204;%20Ps.%2038;%20Song%202;%20Heb.%202&version=NKJV 

Numbers 4               Then the Lord spoke, “Take a census of the sons of Kohath, Gershon, Merari, Levites, … all who enter the service to do the work … but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.”

             You know me, Lord. I am never hidden from Your sight. You number my days. You have prepared me to do service for You. I am to commit my way to You so You will do the blessing through me.

            Working for You can be “deadly” if I ever take the glory because it is only due to You. No compliment, no esteem, no honor, no whatever can I accept without internally submitting that to You, Lord Jesus Christ. It is only under Your Authority and by abiding in You, that any eternal good can ever be accomplished.

            Lord Jesus, keep my mind and heart fresh to hear Your thoughts as my first priority whenever anyone appreciates me. I want to hear You praised and glorified within my own heart, my Savior and Lord! That is my reward!

Psalm 38                   O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones Because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; I go mourning all the day long.

            The price of sin is Enormous! The pain it causes far outweighs and outlasts any moment of illicit pleasure.  When I harden my heart, becoming stubborn in believing that “I deserve my unlawful pleasure rights” – I cause greater harm to myself and to those whom I say with my lips that I love; You Lord, my relatives, friends, and those who need Jesus yet may be led astray by witnessing an unfaithful Christ follower. 

For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God. For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin. – O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

             Lord Jesus, I have sinned against You only – and gravely. My fear of man, distrust of Your Word, and attitude of self-will all speak loudly against You, Holy One. I choose to turn away, this moment, from “my rights” and submit to Your Rights, LORD. Take this situation which is before me, give me Your Word Perspective, fill me with Your Holy Spirit wisdom and power. See – I shall turn away from my familiar pattern and do Your counsel for You, Lord Jesus Christ!   

Song of Solomon 2             The man about the woman, “Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.”                           

            Imagery – Imagine – Christ with His Bride, the Church, the Body of Christ! Thorns are those who are still Jesus’ enemy. I am a lily among those who are thorns. I am Your Love! What an honor to be loved and cherished by You, my Savior! My heart melts!

            The woman about the man, “I sat down in his shade with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste. … He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love….  My beloved spoke, and said to me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away.’”

            By Your Lovingkindness You draw me into Your Presence! Your unconditional Love overshadows all the ills in my life and overwhelms me. You always call me to stay in Your Presence. ~ ~ I rest in You, Lord Jesus. You refresh me like no other. I ponder Your Word privately, intimately, vulnerably. Your Holy Spirit gives me comfort, wisdom and holy perspective. Your Sweet Fruit I desire above all – the Fruit of the Holy Spirit and Your work.

            I shall be faithful to You, Lord Jesus, my Betrothed. You are always beneficially honest with me for Your glory! Your everlasting love binds my heart, mind and all to You, my Beloved King!

My beloved is mine, and I am His. v.16

Hebrews 2                How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, and gifts of the Holy Spirit …?

             No adultery! No neglecting the Great Salvation which the Lord Jesus paid for me! No betraying or rejecting the One Love that can save me and fill me with healing and wholeness!

           But how am I unfaithful to my first Love? Who or what do I run to when I am upset, bothered and wanting to escape even minor “moody pain”? how many times have a failed? and harmed others in my wake? Do I first run to Jesus, the Word of God, and stay there? For Good counsel, comfort and wisdom to change my perspective and situation? Do my reactions have Jesus being the Fragrance people smell, instead of my own odorous ways?

     Through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. …For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

I am free and empowered, indeed, to live for You! Thank You Lord Jesus!

“I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You. I will put My trust in Him.” v.13

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Hebrews, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized