For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16
While much of the Western World writes New Year’s resolutions about losing weight or quitting smoking; sticking to budgets or saving more money; being more organized; spending more time with family or learning something new; I give you a different challenge.
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30
Yes, we have been ensured eternal life in heaven face to face with God. Yet that is not the only reason Jesus came. He came to restore our day-to-day relationship with a God whose love for us is wholly unconditional. He fulfilled the Law so we can live and be loved without condition or condemnation. If you only accept the heaven part without the love part, you are missing out. Langston Hughes expressed it eloquently in his poem, Gifts:
To some people
Love is given.
This kind of love is the one-way love of grace.
Tullian Tchividjian, in his book, One Way Love*, describes it this way: “Grace doesn’t make demands. It just gives. Grace is unconditional acceptance given to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver. Grace is a gift, pure and simple; grace offends our sense of justice by being both implausible and unfair. It forces us to rely on the goodness of Another. Grace is the most dangerous, expectation-wrecking, smile-creating, counterintuitive reality there is.”
All the paying-for is done. It is finished.
This new year, I challenge you to open your heart and receive. Welcome God’s love and grace. It will change you. Because once you accept it for yourself, you will be able to accept His love and grace for others.
We will always be jars of clay. At the very same time, we have this amazing gift – because God so loved us – if we would only allow ourselves to become aware of it.
Take possession. Abide in the gift so you can begin to understand the height and depth and width of God’s love for you.
Happy New Year.