*1 John 4:9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.*
There is a wonderful truth in this passage and that is that God
loved you long before you loved him. The world teaches us that we must earn everything and that people’s value is solely based on what they can produce. Yet the scriptures teach us that our salvation is 100% because of what Christ did on the cross, and not because anything we could do to earn our salvation. I take great comfort knowing that God loved me not because of anything I did but because of what he has done. We don’t earn our salvation, but if Christ is in our hearts then our lives should be changed by him. We are all sinners which is why we must forgive each other as we have been forgiven. Yet, I would encourage you that Christ’s love for you isn’t contingent on what you do, and there is no sin that he will not forgive. Sin always has consequences and the worst thing about sin is it puts distance between us and God, and it can stifle our communion with him. However, God passionately pursues his children who run away and is able to catch them because he is gracious. Some Christians really struggle to understand that God will love them no matter what. I hope that they never fall into deep sin but the fact is that all of us at times in our lives have periods were our walk is not as consistent as it should be, and it is the knowledge of the depths of God’s mercy which often can bring that Christian to repent. The Scripture teaches that “it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance” and therefore we should all be secure in the love of God. Paul teaches that we should not keep sinning so grace should abound, so I would encourage you to take your faith seriously and to pursue righteousness with your whole heart. However, some Christians are so fearful of God that the picture they see of his character is incomplete. God is perfectly just but also perfectly merciful. His mercies are new every morning and he loves his children with an everlasting love.
John 6:37-39 teaches that “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” What an amazing truth that all that the father has given the son are forever secure in his love. I can tell you that as an attorney the word “shall” has binding power. Anytime the word “may” or “should” is used in a contract it carries no actual force… but when you use the words “shall” or “must” those things carry enforcement power. The application of this point is that if you are faithfully walking with Christ than continue to walk with him…. But if you have strayed away then know that the same God who gave his only son for your salvation has not forgotten you, and though he may discipline you he will never stop loving you. So be secure in his love and walk in faith but know when you fall it is Christ who will extend his hand of mercy to pick you up.
About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at email@example.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.