Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Rev. Dr. Rusty Baldridge
Associate Pastor for Community Outreach & Benevolence
Yes, God so loved the world as to give the Only Begotten One, that whoever believes may not die, but have eternal life. John 3:16
Do you remember the old line, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions?” There is a more accurate version of that line, "The road to hell is paved with spiritual arrogance!" In a sermon I heard a long time ago, I remember this advice, "When and if you get to heaven, don't stare. It is more than likely that those who are already there will be asking, 'How did you get here?’"
The core of God’s love is that every person would have a life-giving relationship with God. This relationship means loving and obeying God and allowing the character of God to transform our own character until we become what we were designed to be. One of the surest signs that we have understood and embraced the love of God is an ability to see others with the eyes of God without prejudice, bigotry and intolerance. The surest sign that we have not understood or embraced God’s love is an inability to see others as objects of God's love; no matter how much they are in need of redemption. Certainly to suggest God "hates" anyone betrays, at the very least, a twisted soul.
Isaiah 56:8 is an amazing description of who God is. God is the one who "gathers the outcasts of Israel." In fact, the whole biblical drama is filled with unlikely people who love and trust God and become heroes of the Kingdom of God.
The most wonderful, life changing, encouraging news any person can ever hear is that God loves them.
The thing that makes God's love so wonderful is also the thing that makes it problematic. This love of God's includes everybody!
God's unconditional love for you is precisely dependent upon the fact that God's unconditional love is that "whoever believes may not die, but have eternal life." If God does not love us all, then God does not love at all.
God of grace continue to teach me about your inclusive, forgiving and accepting love. Amen
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