February 2012

Welcome to all. Our purpose at abounding love is to remind you that God loves you unconditionally. "...God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."1

Sinners or Saints...

Sinners are those who don't believe in God's love, that Christ died to provide the gift of righteousness, and rose again to give eternal life. "For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."2

Saints are those who believe in God's love and grace. The Apostle Paul addresses many of his letters to "the saints," such as to the Ephesians: "...to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."3

As a sinner, reading the Apostle Paul's letters will be like reading someone else's mail. But when you receive God's loving grace and gift of righteousness, the Holy Spirit comes into your heart to reveal God's Word. Paul writes: "And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us."4

God's Wonderful Things

Sinners don't know the wonderful things God has freely given us. They have yet to receive the Holy Spirit. But Saints "...know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich."5

As a sinner in the sixties, I did not realize that Jesus died and rose again to supply all my need. I tried desperately to fill my own need in every possible way, only to fail miserably. But today as a Saint, "...God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."6

I was blind to the wonderful things God had freely given to me 2,000 years ago at the cross. I was expecting people, places, and things to provide the love, acceptance, and approval that only God's love and grace can give. Maybe you can identify now with how I felt back then?

Religion or Relationship

As a child, I never experienced God's love, though I grew up going to church. I recall singing, "Jesus Loves Me, This I Know," but still, I felt that His love was conditional upon my works. The world said if I performed well,, I'd be accepted, so I felt I'd be loved by God, if I went to church, sang the hymns, prayed, took communion, got baptized, and lived a holy life. I was tormented, thinking I have to do all these things in order for God to love me.

I was religious, but I didn't have a relationship with God. How could I, basing it upon my performance and fear. My view of God's love was wrong. Listen to the words of the Apostle John, writing:

"All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God
have God living in them and they live in God.
We know how much God loves us and we have
put our trust in His love."7

This is a relationship based on sharing the heart of one another, love, and trust. John continues:

"God is love, and all who live in love, live in God, and God
lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more
perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment,
but we can face Him with confidence because we live like
Jesus here in this world."8

His Perfect Love

As a sinner, I just wanted to be loved and accepted the way I was without being judged. I didn't know that the only way to escape the fear of judgment and non-performance was through God's love.

"Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all
fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and
this shows that we have not fully experienced His 
perfect love. We love each other because He loved
us first."9

Would you like to experience God's perfect love? He loves you just the way you are now. His love is unconditional. His desire is for you to respond to His love. He has already forgiven all your sin. Won't you receive His love today?

A Prayer For You...

Heavenly Father, I turn from trusting in myself and my own works for salvation. I confess that Jesus is my Lord. I believe in my heart that You raised Jesus from the dead, and I receive Your gift of salvation right now by faith. Thank you for revealing Your love and grace to me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Scripture References:

1 Rom. 5:8
2 John 3:16
3 Eph. 1:1-2
4 1 Cor. 2:10-12
5 II Cor. 8:9
6 Phil. 4:19
7 1 John 4:15, 16a
8 1 John 4:16b-17
9 1 John 4:18, 19

Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Sherry for transcribing this months view!

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