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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
March 16, 2002

If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
    who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
    and that's why you're worshiped.

Psalm 130:3-4 (Message*)

We all know we do things that are wrong. If God held us responsible for everything that we did wrong, we indeed would not stand a chance.

In fact, that seems so natural that many act like it is true. They may assume that God couldn't love them because of what they've done wrong. Or they may desperately try to follow a stringent set of rules of behavior in order to "earn" God's love.

But in truth, God is a loving and forgiving God. Jesus was harshly criticized by the religious leaders of his day for associating with known sinners. Jesus felt those were the people that most needed his attention. Many of them responded to his love and compassion for them. Jesus showed us that God's heart is big enough to love anyone, regardless of what wrong they may have done. We don't need to earn God's love; we already have it.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't seek to do right. Rather, our gratitude for the unfailing love God shows us should make us eager to please God and act as He would have us act. Further, if we allow Christ into our hearts, we find ourselves becoming transformed into His image.

Thank you, dear God, for forgiving me. May I be transformed into your likeness so that I may be a channel for your love to reach others who do not yet know how deeply they are loved.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version © by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2002 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 12:00:00 EST