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Come as a stranger, leave as a friend

Although you have not seen him you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe and rejoice with and an indescribable and glorious joy…  1 Peter 1:8

On this week after Easter, I have found myself enjoying a little down time. Coincidently my husband is also away on business. Although I miss him and do not sleep well when he is gone, his absence does make my down time seem more like down time.

Eating a bowl of cereal for supper in front of the TV with total control over the remote is nirvana. Do not misunderstand, my husband would watch anything on TV that I would like to watch, but after many years of marriage, I know what he likes and what he does not like. Nothing is worse than watching a TV program with someone when you KNOW they are not enjoying it.

I settled on the movie, “Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation.”  Gwen Shamblin started a small movement in her garage in the 1990’s which grew into a multimillion-dollar weight loss program. Her approach was convincing people that if they were overweight, they were letting sin into their lives. She taught her followers they could lose weight if they asked God for help.

Shamblin eventually started her own church. She rejected the Trinity because she believed Jesus’ forgiveness made people sin more. Her movement turned into a cult.  I won’t give it away, but the story does not end well; they never do.

The movie stayed with me for a few days. I wondered how Jesus forgiving us might cause us to sin more?

The passage from 1 Peter explained why Shamblin’s claim is not true for me. Even though “we have never seen Jesus we love Jesus,” we love Jesus because Jesus first loved us.  Jesus gives a loving example to live by.

I compare Jesus’ love to a mentor, parent or good friend. We want to do good when we are in the presence of people we love. Of course, we slip up, we make mistakes, we may even hurt those we love. Jesus’ death and resurrection means we can brush ourselves off and try again and again, because we love Jesus, and Jesus loves us.  There is no end to Jesus’ forgiveness, and there is no end to Jesus’ love, that is what makes us want to please God.

Pastor Val

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One Response

  1. You have a choice. Operate out of fear or operate out of love. To choose Jesus is to choose love. Seems obvious to me. 🙂

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