More LIFE Devotions

LIFE Devotions–Tues. March 15 

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  

–Romans 5:8 [NKJV]


God’s love is like the sun. It shines brightly over every breathing person on the earth, regardless of where they are or what they have done. Yet no one can declare they did anything to cause but a single ray to come down. The sun simply shines because that is its nature.  In a similar way, while we were still in darkness, dead in our trespasses and sins, God’s love shined brightly over us and no one can brag about it. God did not wait for us to get our act together or gain enough points before releasing his warmth. Even before we had a chance to respond to His affection, He was already loving us. This was not political love, conditional love, or rhetorical love. This was tangible love, written with blood, expressed through pain, made real by death. This is what makes God’s love irresistible. Not that we loved Him, but that He loved us when we could not love Him back or even wanted to. We received it having done nothing to the deserve it, and having done everything not to deserve it. As much as we would like to take credit for it, God leaves no room for such boasting. Who can show off in the presence of God? Who can blow his own horn and claim ‘I am favored because I've done better?’ God’s love–like the rays of the sun–does not depend on our good behavior but in God's nature. It acts on its own. It needs nobody’s help. It is not stimulated by bountiful offerings or impressive conduct during Sunday service. It simply loves, because God is love. It acts independently of human performance so that in all things, God can get the glory. How fitting it is therefore to say, ‘Glory to God for the riches of His mercy.’

God loved a broken world, not a perfect world. And brokenness can't compete with brokenness to claim affection that had been freely given beforehand. It is dishonest to boast about something you never worked for or deserved to receive in the first place. Believing God’s love is something we can earn makes us cheaters. For if we can work for it, we might want to brag about what we did to obtain it and flirt with the idea that God owes us something in return for our service to Him. Anyone serving like this is shortsighted, looking at the riches of God’s mercy through the tarnished lens of self-righteous pride. It feels good to say, 'I did it!'  O but we have done nothing but sin against God and blaspheme His holy name. God owes us nothing. We can’t barter our service to Him on the basis of how well we did on the weekend. The truth is, we were completely bankrupt when He loved us, and bankrupt we remain without Him. We all have sinned and therefore separated from God’s glory. Yet God, who is rich in mercy, came down to resurrect our corrupted bodies and gave us the life of His Son, so that in all things He receives the glory. The only appropriate response to God’s lavish kindness is wholehearted gratitude and life-long devotion. How can someone who was dead in ungodliness receive new life and go on living for himself? How can a worthless slave tortured by an evil master receive full redemption and end up cheating his liberator with conditions and prerogatives? God’s mercy can’t be reciprocated with cheap devotion when one’s soul has been rescued from hell. His love demands love in return. His extravagance demands extravagance in return. His rich passion demands rich passion in return. Praise Him for the riches of His mercy!

– Is your service to God limited and conditional? Have you come to a point where you say ‘I’ve done too much for the Lord…?’  What does this say about your understanding of God’s rich mercy towards you?

– Pray and ask God to help you respond to His mercy with a heart full of joy, gratitude, and loyal devotion. After all, we are not working for His love. We are inspired by the love He has already given us. 

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