Pause

Love has its reasons, they say.

Love has its purposes too. It's not out there "just because," only to make us feel good, or even, as it does sometimes, to drive us crazy.

Love intends a result; love has an end in mind. When we say "God is love," we need to remember that.

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Listen

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

Ephesians 2:8-10

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Think

As much as I love to improvise with certain tools, at some point I have to give up and concede that they don’t always work for things they weren’t designed to do. I’ve determined that a potato peeler does a better job peeling potatoes than a kitchen knife does. A Phillips-head screw really does need a Phillips screwdriver. Duct tape is not enough for every household repair.

We were designed to do good works, created to perform acts of kindness in our neighborhoods and to do justice in our world. Yes, we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, so it’s tempting to think that we don’t have to do anything at all. But that’s what we were designed to do. We’re hardwired to do good things for others — not to be saved, but rather because we are saved.

It’s just the way God made us.

Peter Hanson

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Pray

God, you created me to want to do good things for others. Help me to be humble in my service, and to remember that it is your free gift of grace that allows me to do anything I do. Thank you for that gift. Amen.

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Go

Jesus loves you;
This you know,
For the Bible tells you so.
Little ones - like you -
To God belong.
You are weak;
But God's love is strong.

Peter Hanson

Peter Hanson has been a youth minister in Minnesota, a street chaplain in Berkeley and San Francisco, a parish pastor in Vermont, and most recently a missionary in Dakar, Senegal. He now serves as interim associate pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Peter lives in St. Paul with his wife, Sarah, and their two sons, Elijah and Simon.

The Love of God

Ken Medema

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