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April 29th -- "God, Why Do You Love Me?"

Saturday’s devotion reminded us all that God is very fond of us. I hope you have been taking the time to stop and let God tell you how fond he is of you at least a dozen times a day. If you haven’t, please do. If you have been doing it, keep doing it. We need that reminder at least that many times each day. We need to be reminded that God’s love towards us is tender and intimate and always. But, often as we start pondering God’s love for us, we end up asking this question: “Why?” “God, why do you love me so much? Why do you continue to care for me when I’m not even caring for myself? Why do you relentlessly search me out, even when I walk away from you?” It’s called GRACE. The best definition of grace is: unconditional love. God loves you with an unconditional love – there is nothing you can do (or not do) to make God love you more or less. He loves you with all his heart, soul and mind. He always had, always will, can’t never not love you (how’s that for beautiful triple negative!). YOU ARE LOVED. Grace, like love, is a word that gets thrown around a lot, especially in the church, and because of that we have lost its deep and wonderful meaning. Have you ever done something that truly hurt a person you love? As you go to them to ask forgiveness, a hundred scenarios play out in your mind, and all of them end badly. Yet, when you sit with them and begin sharing, they not only forgive you, but they take you into their arms and hold you tight. In that embrace you know all is forgiven. Not only that, but that moment of unconditional love, actually makes the relationship grow deeper and stronger – that’s grace. Grace – unconditional love. It’s the way God works. There is a wonderful scene in Paddy Chayefsky’s play Gideon, where Gideon is out in the desert in his tent a thousand miles from nowhere, feeling deserted and rejected by God. One night, God breaks into the tent and Gideon is seduced, ravished, overcome, burnt by the wild fire of God’s love. He is up all night, pacing back and forth in his tent. Finally dawn comes and Gideon in his Brooklyn Jewish accent cries out, “God, oh God, all night long I’ve thought of nothing but You, nothing but you. I’m caught up in the raptures of love. God, I want to take you into my tent, wrap you up, and keep you all to myself. ... God, hey God, tell me that you love me.” God answers, “I love you, Gideon.” “Yeah, tell me again, God.” “I love you, Gideon.” Gideon scratches his head. “I don’t understand. Why? Why do you love me?” And God scratches His head and answers, “I really don’t know. Sometimes, My Gideon, passion is unreasonable.” God’s love doesn’t have to make sense to you – in fact, it’s too big to ever fully comprehend, but know this: it is. It just is, and it is all yours, and always will be. Even when time, as we know it, ceases to be, God’s love for you will remain. Yes, God is very fond of you, and something more: God is wildly and nonsensically in love with you. And that is a great thing! The greatest of all things (1 Cor. 13:13). ~Pastor Dan

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