Unconditional Love

Friday, February 10, 2017
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Lily Of The Valley"1 (Lyrics)

Have you ever done something that you were ashamed of and felt that you could never be forgiven for? Like most people, I suspect, I have been guilty of things that I'd hate to admit to.

Not everyone has come from a loving, nurturing home, and for those who haven't, it's hard to grasp that God knows us inside and out and yet loves us and wants a relationship with us in spite of our failings and sins. My family of origin was not a supportive one, and because I grew up with a surplus of criticism and little positive reinforcement, "Our Father" was not a name for a loving God that I could relate to. It was a big leap of faith for me to trust that God actually loved me, that He was willing to forgive the sins that I had committed, that He would wash me clean enough to stand before His throne through the blood of Christ, and that all I had to do was come before Him and repent of my sins. It couldn't be that simple, could it? Fortunately, my grandmother was a practicing Christian and was very present in my life. She was my safe place, and although I didn't live with her, I was able to learn from her about how much God loved me.

Ephesians 1:7-8a – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us. (NIV)

The impediment that prevents some people from becoming children of God may be that they don't feel adequate, and their sins weigh on them. They believe that God cannot forgive and love bad sinners such as themselves. I was once told an analogy that stuck with me. When we come face to face with Christ to confess our sins, He takes them and tosses them over His shoulder. We can still see our sins behind Him, but He cannot, and they are now truly gone. However, for peace in our spirits, we must also dismiss them as gone. That's the second step in the healing — forgiving ourselves! God's love washes us clean, and we are white as snow.

Isaiah 1:18 – "Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (NIV)

Acts 26:17b-18 – I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me. (NIV)

Only a God who loves us unconditionally would make these promises. He created us in His image and loves us in spite of our sinful nature and wants us to be in fellowship with Him through eternity. Trust Him to forgive you and restore you to a clean slate, as He has promised. Then, you must also let your sinful past go.

Prayer: For the many who have been hurt in this life and don't understand Your unconditional love, Lord, please build them up so that they can trust in You. Help them to know that once they repent of their sins, they are secure in Your love and can have in their lives the peace that passes understanding. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Karen Abbott <kkabbott47@gmail.com>
Renfrew, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    This gives me hope for heaven.

    Thank you for the reminder. Beautifully written.

    An amazing truth isn’t it Karen? Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you, Karen, for sharing this devotional with its clearly stated message of forgiveness. Blessings.

    Dear Karen:
    I can really relate to your devotional. Thank you so much for sharing it with us all.
    May the eternal God of peace with you now and forever and I hope you continue to write as the Spirit leads you.

    Thank you, Karen, for writing today. Our pasts certainly do shape us. Conversely to you I, the only child, was blessed with parents who brought me up to love the Lord. While my life has not been perfect, it is one where I have been greatly blessed. I have often wondered if I would have found and understood the love of God had the situation not been what it was and is.

    Oh How I enjoyed your message. I was not a really bad person, but I had a mom who, you were unable to do anything well enough for, when she was younger; in her older age she changed but the damage was done. I also had a wonderful grandmother. I love the part where Jesus throws the sins over his should and only you can see him.
    I struggle with the part “Love, your neighbor, as yourself”. I, have trouble loving myself. And I know this is wrong BUT it is a continual struggle.

    Hi Karen, I was recently at a funeral and the daughter spoke about her faith and how easy it was to believe in a heavenly father as her earthly Father was patient, kind, gentle, wise and man of few words, etc. I thought at the time that often our relationship with our own parents especially our Fathers can help or hinder our relationship with our Heavenly Father. My mother spoke the harsh words in our home and it has quite an effect on my sister who is deeply wounded. She can remember it whereas I have moved on. I do not remember as well and I have let it go and realized that she did the best she could and she was the way she was because of how she grew up. My father on the other hand was wise with words and when he did discipline or not allow us to do something he would say “I love you too much to allow you to do that”. How can you fight back when you know you are loved.
    Thank you for your insightful devotion and for the analogy. A good one to remember. Blessings.

    Well done, but we must live the cards we have been given.
    Like you the younger years were loveless!

    Dear Karen,
    That’s a truly straight-forward message of God’s grace and forgiveness.
    Keep writing.

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