The love of God has always caught people off-guard.
When we expect micromanagement,
God loves us expansively.
When we expect to be ranked and rated,
God loves us impartially.
When we expect to be found guilty,
God loves us unconditionally.
When we expect to be excluded,
God loves us with arms wide open,
ready to draw us in.
"Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."
John 3:17next >
In an outpouring of mercy, God provided healing to the Israelites in the wilderness, salvation from the sure death of a serpent’s bite. In an outpouring of love, God provided healing to our lost and wandering world, salvation from the sure death of sin.
God’s goal isn’t blame or belittling. When we believe in God’s mercy, we join in a life that is free from judgment and fault-finding. When we believe in God’s love, we join in a life that is free from put-downs and pointing fingers.
Because God offers us such freedom, we can stop our own blaming, belittling, judging. Instead of pointing fingers at others, we can reach out to invite, to include, and to point the way to life.
God’s mercy still pours out for those who suffer, for all who seek reminders of God’s goodness, for all who need to believe. God’s love still pours out for those who wander, for all who are looking everywhere for something to believe in, for all who need to be healed.
Nikki Finkelstein-Blairnext >
In Jesus, you came to heal us, to save us, and to free us from the world’s judgment. Give me eyes to see you clearly, so I can believe in your love and join you in eternal life. Amen.next >
When we let God surprise us
we cannot help but carry that love
to our world.
Let our message catch people off-guard:
that God loves them beyond belief,
and so do we.
Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is an ordained Baptist minister, wife to a US Navy chaplain, and stay-home mom to two little boys. In every new duty station, she participates in church life from VBS to pulpit supply, and is regularly involved in women’s ministries and writing. She blogs seasonal devotions at The Ordinary Times.
Nothings Ever Really Gone