Earning God's Love

Just before Jesus began his earthly ministry, He traveled to the Jordan to be baptized by his cousin, John. As soon as He came up out of the water, the Heavens opened, the Spirit descended, and God spoke. “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

Just think about that. Before Jesus even performed the first miracle, preached the first sermon, or called the first disciple, God made sure that His identity was clear. He was accepted, approved, and completely loved. And so are we!

So many of us are trying to earn an acceptance and approval that Jesus has already earned for us. God’s acceptance of us is not based on our performance, what we do, or what we don’t do. That doesn’t mean that we stop trying to do our best to live a God-honoring life. But it does mean that we stop trying to earn acceptance we already have. We have nothing to prove, because we have already been approved through the finished work of Jesus on the cross (Easter) and His presence in us.

So, this year we have Easter (when God tells us we have a new covenant and we are loved unconditionally) and Passover (called Pesach) when an Observant Jewish Family has many rules and works to do – both in the same week.  Pesach is the epitome of following Jewish rules and earning God’s acceptance and was the most gut-wrenching times of my life.  There are plenty of rules in the observant Jewish world for everyday life and for a Sabbath (Shabbos), why add another dimension for just eight days?  To please God and to earn acceptance?

Now is the part where I share with you what I had to do to prepare for and do during Pesach; but to be honest, I’m getting a stomach ache from thinking of all of this, and this devotion is getting too long.  HAH J  If you would like to learn more about Pesach, please feel free to ask me anytime or here is the link that goes over the 101: http://www.jewfaq.org/holidaya.htm.  Yes, I did all this yucky stuff—plus a lot more.

Then Jesus took the bread and the wine and asked God the Father to bless it. He broke the bread into pieces, giving it to his disciples and said, "This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

And then he took the cup of wine, sharing it with his disciples and said, "This wine is the token of God's new covenant to save you--an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you."

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us a new covenant of forgiveness to save us.  Help us to stop trying to earn what we already have. Help us to walk in your amazing presence by knowing how truly blessed we are to have your unconditional love and forgiveness.  In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen

Jill Maclay

Sources: Girlfriends in God daily devotional – Sharon Jaynes;        http://www.jewfaq.org/holidaya.htm ; Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-25, and Luke 22:7-20, TLB

 

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