*Conditions Do Not Apply

asteriskUnconditional love: affection with no limits or conditions, complete love. (Dictionary.com)

God loves you. Unconditionally. Forever, no matter what. You can’t make Him unlove you, ever. I love how the Message Bible translates Psalm 103:12.

As far as sunrise is from sunset, He has separated us from our sins.”

He has wiped them away, given us a fresh start. You don’t need to beat yourself up about a that mistake you made last year. Don’t punish yourself for your past wrong doings. God has completely forgotten about them. He sees you as His pure, perfect child.

Don’t let yourself get caught up in the *conditions apply mindset. The love of God doesn’t come with any catches. He just asks us to trust Him completely and know in our hearts that His plans are always better than ours.

“For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV)

It doesn’t say “that whoever is perfect,” or “that whoever doesn’t have tattoos and piercings,” “that whoever hasn’t committed a crime,” “that whoever feels worthy.” Because of the Cross, because of the Blood, four nails, a crown of thorns, unimaginable pain, we’re all worthy of His love. Don’t continue to kick yourself for something God forgave you for a long time ago.

Whoever: whatever person, any person at all.

Any person at all.

God loves you, forever and always. To the world, we’re flawed and sinful. To God, we’re perfect, pure, and holy. Just put your life in His hands and trust Him completely, you won’t regret it.

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To My Future Beloved

Love Birds

Hello lovely,

It’s me again, your future wife. I just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you like crazy. My heart aches to meet you like it never has before. I hope this means that the time is getting closer. I seriously can’t stop thinking about you, who you might be, the precious time we’ll spend together, the laughs we’ll have and the love we’ll share. I know they’ll be some tears too, because nothing is perfect, but we’ll always communicate and work things out.

I can’t wait to start our day with devotions and prayer, and of course some coffee too! I’m definitely looking forward to where the Lord is going to lead us and the adventures He’ll send us on along the way. I know that, because we have God at the center, our marriage will be rock solid and filled with love. I pray that you too, are using your season of singleness to pray and prepare your heart for me. I’m bursting with excitement to see what the future holds! Until the moment that the Lord finally decides it’s time for us to meet, I’ll continue praying for you, preparing my heart, and drawing closer to Him.

Until next time, lots of love!

Your Future Love ❤

Broken Pieces

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Broken and scattered
each piece has a story
My life was a mess
but could still bring You glory

You picked up my pieces
Your grace became glue,
Your blood cleansed my sins,
made me shiny and new.

~Amanda N. Sams
May 14, 2014

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new has come!”

~2 Corinthian 5:17

Don’t make Jesus smell like stinky socks…

Yes, it’s true, you did just read that title right… Stinky socks

No, I’m not crazy. Okay, not completely at least… ha!

 

“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”

~2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV)

I also like the way that the Contemporary English Version words it:

“In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life. But for people who are lost, it has a bad smell and leads them to a horrible death.”

As I was flipping through my Bible this morning, skimming some of the notes I had scribbled in the margins, this verse basically jumped off the page at me. It wasn’t one that I had paid much attention to before, I think I had maybe underlined it in pencil as I listened to a sermon in the past, but I couldn’t let it go this time.

As Christians, we carry the “fragrance” of Christ. Our lifestyles, how we treat others, the language we use, all point back to Jesus. We need to be mindful of these things on a daily basis. Is the way you live your life giving others a good or a bad fragrance of Jesus? Is your life drawing others to a life with Christ, or “stinking” them out and pushing them away?

Don’t live your life so that you label yourself as a “Christian” but act, speak and treat others like you’re not. Being a Christian isn’t just a title, it’s not just a box you check on your Facebook profile, it’s a way of life. Those that call themselves Christians but treat it as just a label are those that end up pushing others away from Christianity, or make the “fragrance” of Jesus smell like “stinky socks.” No one is perfect, we ALL make mistakes on probably a daily basis. Yes, we have the grace of God, but that doesn’t mean that we should take advantage of it and use it as an excuse to sin.

Live your life

 

 

God wants us to give it all we’ve got and make Jesus smell as sweet as possible to those around us. We need to live lives that draw others to Him. Love and forgive others as God loves and forgives us. As followers of Christ we have been trusted to carry the message of life or death, if we don’t live a lifestyle that gives Jesus a sweet, welcoming fragrance, we’re ultimately pushing the people we encounter throughout our time on earth towards “death” instead of a life with Jesus.

The Reformation Study Bible expands on these verses saying:

“Figuratively speaking there is a pleasant fragrance, spiritually perceived, about true Christians. On the other hand, this fragrance is a “fragrance from death” to unbelievers, for it warns them that they are unprepared for the day of judgment.” 

“Carrying a message of eternal life or death is a sobering responsibility. No one is worthy of this solemn task, but God qualifies us for it nonetheless.”

Just a few things I thought about as I came across that verse thins morning. Take a minute to look at your life and ask yourself:

“Am I living a life that’s making Jesus smell sweet to those around me, or is my life making Jesus smell more like stinky gym socks?”