20th October 2011

Conditions Apply!

“But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 (NRSV)

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but just about every advertisement on radio for—offers that you just can’t afford to miss—end with the words, ‘conditions apply’. Companies love conditions—sometimes referred to as “the small print”! These small print conditions protect companies; watch their backs and so they feel that they are in control. Unfortunately, we tend to take a leaf out of their book and our lives are also filled with conditions, and I guess those conditions make us feel that we too are no longer vulnerable but in control…or are we?

I suspect that most of the conditions we build into our lives deal with just how, and to what extent, we will love and serve others. This is, of course, our own personal small print. But you know, there is a love that is totally above board, totally OTT, unashamedly unconditional, and that is the love of God which is expressed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact, this is how we come to know and understand love. John the apostle tells us this in his first letter, “We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16 NLT).

Jesus died for all of us, unashamedly, joyfully, and most importantly—unconditionally! “Fixing our gaze upon Jesus, our Prince Leader in the faith, who will also award us the prize. He, for the sake of the joy which lay before Him, patiently endured the cross, looking with contempt upon its shame, and afterwards seated himself where he still sits at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 Weymouth Translation).

The One who has accomplished all of this continually calls for us humans to come to him for blessings, although none of us deserve any.  Read Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT), “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

Did you notice…”No conditions apply?”

Father of all goodness, thank you so much for an overwhelming and everlasting love that is condition-free; so much so, that while we were still sinners and enemies your Beloved Son died for us.

Study by Cliff Neill

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