The Best Things in Life are Free?

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The best things in life are free

We’ve all heard it. Most of us accept this phrase as truth. I was one of those people.

But not anymore.

Free means that it doesn’t cost anything. And the best thing in my life is my salvation. Which cost my Savior everything.

People generally use this saying in reference to money. Like the popular thought that says, Can’t buy me love. 

Again, yes you can. In fact, God did buy our love when He sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us.

“Christ bought us with His blood and made us free…” – Galatians 3:13

When we are tempted to forget just how high a price Jesus paid on our behalf, we lose sight of what love really means.

It’s not conditional. It isn’t always pretty. In fact, it’s usually messy.

Love costs EVERYTHING.

 

photo credit: last light of my mind via photopin (license)
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Finish Your Race

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This past Saturday I ran the Go Girl Half Marathon.

It was the second race that I finished all by myself. And it felt good.

I signed up for it before my life took a tailspin out of control .

And then I didn’t want to do it because I was having a hard time getting up.

My training was hit or miss because of emotional stress.

My consistency was lacking because of my heartache.

But I showed up. (At 5:30am nonetheless.)

In the cold and windy darkness of the early morning.

I pushed past the pain of sore knees and tired soles.

Because I decided that I couldn’t do it for myself.

Not anymore. At first it was a personal achievement. A goal of pride.

But when my life got hard, it became a lesson in grace.

I was doing it for HIM. Because my focus was on what He did for me.

The very next day was EASTER Sunday.

The day we focus on the fact that Jesus showed up when He could’ve stayed away.

What if He had not run His race? What if He had left us hopeless and void of light?

What if Jesus never got up out of the ground?

Thank God that I don’t have to imagine such a thought.

Thank God I have His overcoming example to follow.

Thank God He enabled me to get up. To finish my race. 

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He’s Got You on His Mind All the Time

 

 

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Wholehearted devotion.

These words define the love of my life, Jesus Christ. And you know what? I’m the love of His life too. So are you.

Do you know Him? Can you even wrap your mind around this kind of earth shaking love? I can’t and I’ve been following Him since I was 5.

It literally takes eternity to fully grasp His eternal love.

He loves us.  It doesn’t matter what you have done. Like my daughter, Grace, (aptly named nonetheless) said yesterday at lunch, “Jesus forgives all of us even if we make really bad mistakes.” He wants to embrace us all.

Jesus died for you to show you that you are loved beyond any shadow of a doubt. I can never understand this kind of sacrifice but I will spend my whole life fervently pursuing the author of this love.

I get to discover more about Him every single day. For the rest of my life. There is NO END to His amazing love. Try to wrap your head around that.

You can’t. Which is why it’s so amazing.

 

photo credit: La 14ème étape – The 14th stage – Via Crucis via photopin (license)

LOVE- A word that’s overused and underrated.

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55999734@N00/13398445813">Late Winter cross</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>

Love. It’s a word that is misused, misunderstood, and mistaken for all the wrong things.

“I love that song!” – misused (Love can’t be reduced to a pop culture fad.)

“He just loves me because I’m pretty.”– misunderstood (Love isn’t conditional.)

“I only did it because I loved her.” – mistaken (Love never exploits or abuses.)

How would you define love? For me, there is only ONE definition:

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”                1 John 3:16

True love requires sacrifice. Jesus is the perfect example. He gave His life for all humanity because He loves us so much. Nothing we can do could even come close to that kind of love. We as humans aren’t even capable of fully understanding it.

But sacrificial love also shows up in other ways (because how many of us are really going to die on behalf of someone else?) It shows up in my willingness to give up a bad habit because my friend, spouse, or child asked me to stop. It shows up when I lay down my need to be right in order to save a relationship from dying. It shows up when I choose to give my husband the last k-cup of coffee instead of hide it for myself (I’m still working on this one!)

Because that’s what love does. It’s not even dependent upon if you like the person. Love crosses over whatever barrier is in it’s path to be, to do, to give, to serve, to show up, just to lay it all down, for the sake of one person.

Sound difficult? Well, it’s really a lot harder than it sounds. Especially when we trivialize it to being sentimental mush with no depth. Love is deep. It’s definitely not limited to a shallow feeling. No sentimentality or emotionalism can replace the bloody truth of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. It was messy. It was controversial. The Cross set the highest standard for pure love. 

And our lives are meant to be a representation of that love: sacrificial, messy, controversial. The crazy thing is, when we live our lives this way, choosing to love despite how we feel, we inevitably provoke a reaction. LOVE doesn’t just sit still. When it’s shown in it’s truest form, love beckons a response. And yes, it may be smiles and laughter. But it also may be tears and yells. Because love doesn’t ask your permission. And that may be hard for some people to take.

So, in the name of Love, let’s actually live our lives in a way that causes others to look at us in wonder. Because no matter how vulgar and offensive the Cross was, no one can deny it’s incomparable beauty.