It is sort of ironic that I write a devotional most mornings and stand before students to teach college courses; I was never one to say very much growing up. It wasn’t till several people God used in my life and taught me what love is that I understood there was something important to communicate. Each of these special people, in their own way, invested themselves in me. Every one of them taught me what it was to love like Christ; sacrificing something of themselves so I could have something more. I often hear the phrase, “I did all I could do”; but from these extraordinary people I learned that until you have given your all, as Christ did on the cross, you have not done ‘all’ you can do… “for greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend” (John 15:13). Many live behind the facade of self righteousness, making judgments without considering the whole story. To be honest, this is something only God can do; and when I humble myself, trusting His perfect judgments, I am free from everything that corrupts my capacity to love as Christ loves me; and from this position I am able to move beyond my prejudices. When I do NOT humble myself and take on the nature and character of Jesus Christ, I remain veiled by my own pride and unable to participate in God’s perfect plan… by my own choice and not God’s.
So if this is the last thing I say, please be confident in this:
First, God loves you so much He sent His only begotten Son to rescue you from the consequences of your leaving Him, who is ‘Absolute Perfection’, out of your imperfect choices. He did this even though you hated Him for it, and became indifferent to Him and His perfect will and design.
Second, you are saved by grace and not by anything you can do or achieve on your own. So stop trying and find rest in Jesus Christ. He has opened His heart to you and invited you in… For “Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light’” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Third, because of this, there is nothing you have to face alone. If you are, it is by your choice. You have allowed the veil of pride to deceive you and what you experience is your own fault.
Fourth, exalt Christ in all you do; not as part of a list, but as the motivation for the list.
And last, I love you because God first loved me.
Hell is the culmination of our own choices. It is not a place God intends for His children and He has ‘done everything’ to keep you from it; you have only to accept His offer of salvation. With God who is ‘Absolute Perfection’, there can only be ‘One Way’, that is the ‘Perfect Way.’ Any other choice but this, is imperfect and leads away from the light of His presence into the darkness of selfishness. I would be there except for some extraordinarily humble people who chose to ‘be crucified with Christ; no longer living their own lives, but humbly allowing Christ to live in and through them. So, because of this, now I too live this life by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). No matter what you are dealing with right now, you can have this confidence as well; drop your pride and walk into God arms and you will know a peace that passes all understanding. Don’t give up; don’t ever give in… There is hope and His name is Jesus.
“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face God with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.” (1 John 4:17-19)
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.
Think About This: “Suffering has the power to expose what you have been trusting all along. If you lose your hope when your physical body fails, maybe your hope wasn’t really in your Savior after all. It was humbling to confess that what I thought was faith was actually self-reliance” ―