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Lenten Devotional: March 3, 2024

by Barb Willey

Unconditional Love

For years I have known the scripture narrative of Jesus' Baptism recorded in the Gospels. After John agrees to baptize Jesus a voice from heaven, God the Father, is heard saying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).

Well He SHOULD be well pleased. It IS Jesus after all. The One who heals the sick and even raises the dead. He certainly has earned those words from the Father….but WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

When God spoke those works to Jesus, Jesus hadn’t done any of those things. No miracles…no water to wine, no lame man leaping, no Lazarus coming up out of the grave. All Jesus had ‘done’ was live a regular life in Nazareth with his earthy parents, and it wasn’t even remarkable enough to be recorded in scripture.

It begs the question, what do we have to DO to receive God’s love. In a nutshell I guess we just have to breathe air, to exist. God’s love is NOT conditional on our behavior. We don’t earn it by what we DO, we receive it because of who HE is and because we are His beloved.

The rest of Jesus' short life was all about demonstrating God’s love and grace. Jesus shared so many parables to bring that point home. Certainly, one of the most well know is the prodigal son. So undeserving but so deeply loved and welcomed home.

God’s love is unconditional. He forgives the unforgivable and loves the unlovable. The greatest example of His love and grace is the cross…"for while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). The ultimate gift of His love and demonstration of grace.

During this Lenten season it’s good to remember that we can never earn His love. He loves us just because we breathe air, so take in a long, slow breath of HIS LOVE.


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