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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Love Actually

I think a lot of our problems in the Christian life stem from self-conversations that start, "[Name], you idiot..." Sin is one thing, but sin is a deeply personal act of betrayal, and it's only seen in the light of perfect Love.

Instead of seeing our lives as the joy-filled effort of experiencing God's pleasure in every moment, we think we have to please Him ourselves. God actually loves us. It's not abstract; it's the fundamental truth of being. St. John says, "Not that we loved God, but that he loved us..."

Our faith has to have teeth. That is, rather than get hemmed in by interminable debates about faith and works, it is better to say that good works are the "therefore" in the sentence that begins, "Jesus is Lord; therefore..." Innumerable good deeds apart from him are worthless in God's sight, and the words alone aren't enough.

God has never hated us. Even at our most distant, most self-involved, Christ died for us. It is all very well to tell others Jesus died for them. Do we believe it ourselves?

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