From Live Loved, by Max Lucado
If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. – 1 JOHN 3:20
Loved with a Perfect Love
We are convinced that God must hate our evil tendencies. We sure do. We don’t like the things we do and say. We despise our lustful thoughts, harsh judgments, and selfish deeds. If our sin nauseates us, how much more must it revolt a holy God! We draw a practical conclusion: God is irreparably ticked off at us. . . .
Yes, we have disappointed God. But, no, God has not abandoned us. . . .
Jesus loves us too much to leave us in doubt about his grace. His “perfect love expels all fear” (1 John 4:18 nlt). If God loved with an imperfect love, we would have high cause to worry. Imperfect love keeps a list of sins and consults it often. God keeps no list of our wrongs. His love casts out fear because he casts out our sin!
Tether your heart to this promise, and tighten the knot. Remember the words of John’s epistle: “If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20). When you feel unforgiven, evict the feelings. Emotions don’t get a vote. Go back to Scripture. God’s Word holds rank over self-criticism and self-doubt.
As Paul told Titus, “God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! . . . Tell them all this. Build up their courage” (Titus 2:11, 15 msg). Do you know God’s grace? Then you can love boldly, live robustly. You can swing from trapeze to trapeze; his safety net will break your fall.
Nothing fosters courage like a clear grasp of grace.
Gracious Father, we know that we don’t always please you. We fall short of your standards again and again. When we are discouraged and feel we are failing you, remind us of your perfect love and your grace. Thank you for reminding us that your perfect love casts out every wrong and keeps no lists of our failures. Every time we fall, help us to reach for your grace, amen.
[We are] delivered . . . from the power of darkness and conveyed . . . into the kingdom of the Son. – Colossians 1:13
“He who believes in Him is not condemned.” – John 3:18
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. – 1 John 5:13