Unconditional Love Deserves Unconditional Worship
This website is read predominantly by believers; we are children of God, we know Jesus as our Savior and we repent of our copious sins. God loves us unconditionally.
If you had an abortion somewhere in your past; take heart, God forgives you and He loves you enough to have died for you.
If you are in jail for a heinous crime; take heart, God loves you and forgives your sins and removes them as far as the east is from the west.
God has boatloads of Amazon-sized unconditional love for you.
How do we acknowledge Him for this unconditional love, mercy, forgiveness and grace? Often, with conditional worship.
• I will only sing hymns, no contemporary music.
• I will only praise him with a rock band accompaniment.
• I will not worship in a church that has “coffee and couches.”
• I will not worship in a church that has a video screen.
• When our new hymnal committee asks for feedback, we say things like “Go back to the blue hymnal!”
If you can only worship with one book or one style of music; then your idea of worship is limited and shallow. We need to be able to worship God in all circumstances – even if your church loses power on Sunday morning, worship goes on!
That one horrible sin that haunts you…
That one nagging sin that you keep perpetuating…
Those hurtful words that you wish you could take back…
That email that you should never have sent…
Take heart, Jesus can fix you.
The struggles in your life…
Always being bullied…
Betrayed by a close friend…
All of the unjust persecution…
Jesus is fixing you.
That chronic pain that you are suffering…
That diagnosis that crushed you…
Jesus will fix you.
One day, He will put all of your broken pieces back together.
Jesus is the ultimate healer.
Though your sins are red as scarlet they will be made white as snow.
As far as the east is from the west.
Jesus can, He is, and He will always fix you.
You are a fixer upper.
But one who is loved.
For more devotional writings, see Steve’s book here Lifestyle Worship
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “
I forgive you, do you forgive me? Those are healing words; for the giver and receiver.
In the spring of the the year 0,033 (plus or minus a year) a young, innocent, peace-loving man was brutally beaten, mocked, robbed, humiliated, whipped, insulted and ultimately murdered by a band of unbelieving, ruthless thugs, scoundrels, robbers and murders. Somehow between numerous thunderous blows to his head, he found the strength to mutter these words:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” – Jesus (Luke 23:34) … And He meant it. Deep within His hurting heart, He meant it.
That, right there, is our shining example.
M: We should not have a vengeful heart. For God says:
C: Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. – Romans 12:19
M: We should never repay with evil. For God says:
C: Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. – Romans 12:17
M: We should want God’s blessings for those who do wrong to us. For God says:
C: Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. – Luke 6:28
M: We should not rejoice when calamities fall on those who do wrong to us. For God says:
C: Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice – Proverbs 24:17
M: We should not hate those who do wrong against us. For God says:
C: But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you – Matthew 5:44
M: We should seek reconciliation. For God says:
C: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18
M: We should never treat those who have done wrong to us poorly. For God says:
C: If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it. – Exodus 23:4-5
Here is forgiveness: when you feel that someone is your enemy or when you simply feel that you or someone you care about has been wronged, forgiveness means:
not returning evil for evil
wishing them well
grieving at their calamities
praying for their welfare
seeking reconciliation so far as it depends on you
and coming to their aid in distress.
All these point to a forgiving heart. And the heart is all important. Read Matthew 18:21-35 if you don’t believe me and ruminate on that last verse for awhile.
“To forgive, is to give up your right to be angry.” – Pastor Timothy Ehlers