Have you ever been told “I love you” after doing something for somebody?
I realized that it was not necessarily me that they loved but what I could do for them.
That love they had for me at that moment was transactional.
I’m not saying that person didn’t have a genuine love for me. But, at that moment, the motive behind their “I love you” was based on my actions for them.
God’s love is the opposite. It is never transactional and always unconditional.
God’s love has zero strings attached.
Unconditional love is difficult to receive and hard to show to others, especially when they give you reasons not to love them.
It’s easy to lose sight that God loves us before we can ever do anything for Him.
We naturally base our love for others on who the person is, whether we know them or not, or their positions.
It’s easier to love a family member than a stranger or co-worker.
But God loves us all the same; it’s not based on who we are.
His love is supernatural.
Luke 6:32,35-36 tells us, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
God has called us to a deep love that is beyond the natural.
To love like Christ, we must be kind, patient, merciful, and giving, even when it is not deserved. Remember, there are no strings attached when you love like Christ.
Today, first recognized the unconditional love God has for you.
Secondly, begin to show it to everyone you encounter.
Thanksgiving is now only three days away; can you believe it?
I want to start by asking you a question. What is the root of your thankfulness – is it your family, financial security, a good job, or the small good things that happen in a day?
I love the journey from Thanksgiving to Christmas; it’s a great time to evaluate what’s on my heart – and why. Although that journey seems to be going quickly this year, it’s already snowing here in Oklahoma!
About 54 years ago, I gave my life to Christ and surrendered to the call of God on my life. As I take the time to reflect on those years, I can’t help but be thankful to God.
He’s the reason I am where I am!
So, the thankfulness that fills my heart this season, especially, comes from that day. All good things come from God, which began at that moment for me.
God is the center of my thankfulness.
When you make God the center of your thankfulness, no matter your current circumstances, you can’t help but give thanks!
Paul faced persecution, loss, and imprisonment but somehow let thankfulness and praise rise out of his heart.
Has this year been challenging? Are you not looking forward to the holidays this year? Or are you feeling blessed and excited?
No matter how you are feeling, I want to challenge you.
From now until Thanksgiving, write down why you are thankful.
You might have to dig deep and remember the anchor moments when God came through.
If it comes easily, I still want you to dig deep and remember why your success is possible.
This challenge is to help you look past the fog that might be blocking your vision from seeing the goodness of God.
I find that hard times are the moments to reflect on the goodness of God and give thanks. And happy times are an opportunity to anchor yourself when it’s easy to listen to the flesh.
I want to help you start that list with three things that are the root of my thankfulness.
1. Belonging – You and I belong to the Father and His family. You are never alone. When the circumstance might yell that you are, the Father is right there with you. 2. Belief – All things are possible to those who believe. The day I surrendered my life was a forever anchor moment for me. 3. Becoming – Every day, you and I are becoming more and more like Christ.
I pray that as you take the time to reflect, you’ll begin to see God’s goodness still following you.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Colossians 1:11-12 “Always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light.”
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” -Psalm 13
Over the next few weeks, we will look at different attributes of the Father’s love.
Today, I want to remind you of His steadfast love.
Steadfast means to be “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.” You can say devoted, committed, dependable, loyal, or faithful.
When scripture uses “steadfast” in front of love, it declares that God’s love for you is unwavering. His love won’t change – it is decided and committed.
But what does this mean for us in everyday life?
Steadfast love means we RELY on it. The Lord will never leave you nor forsake you.
Most of us have felt the sting of heartache or betrayal with someone we loved, whether romantic or a friendship.
The love we experience on earth cannot compare to the love of God. He will never lie, cheat, or let you down. God’s love is steadfast and unlike anything on earth.
The Father promises never to leave or forsake us and He means it with every ounce of his steadfast love.
When fear, doubt, or despair creep in with the hard things of life, know that supernatural steadfast love will provide, deliver, and stand with you.
Knowing and relying on this attribute of the Father’s love keeps you steadfast in your walk with Him.
David always declared God’s steadfast love. When enemies attacked David, he proclaimed deliverance according to the Lord’s steadfast love and faithfulness. When David made a mistake, he called out to God, according to the Lord’s steadfast love and forgiveness.
Knowing this attribute of the Father’s love is rooted in your trust in God.
1 John 4:16 says, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
A good indicator that you might fall into a pessimistic mindset is that you find yourself repeating, “Why does this always happen to me.” or “Man, I just cannot catch a break.”
Don’t worry; you are not the only one who feels this way… I’m guilty of it too!
But the reality is we are not victims. On the contrary, God has made us victors!
I love Psalms 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
Right before this verse, David says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Although David felt like he was going through a valley, he proclaimed God’s goodness. And so should you!
I heard this question once, “Can you proclaim God’s goodness while going through tough times?”
David knew that situations do not change God’s character. God’s goodness is unchanging.
Situations come and go, but God remains the same.
David didn’t feel like a victim when things went wrong. Instead, he knew he was a victor because he knew God was faithful.
When times of difficulty come, and it’s hard to see past, remind yourself of God’s goodness and character.
If you feel like you’ve always been the victim and never see good in your life, it’s time to hold onto God’s promises. Leave the old behind and walk in the light of your victory. When you release the label of victim and lean into God’s character, you can find peace and hope in any situation.
God wants to show you the life you can now live because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
It’s time to dive into God’s word and read about His faithfulness. The Bible is not just history to read and marvel at; it’s a reminder of what God can do for you in this present time and wants to do for you.
Earl Glisson said, “Being a citizen of the kingdom of God does not mean we will be able to avoid battles with the enemy; it just means that we always win.”
You’re not a victim but a victor!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -John 10:10