Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Unearned Love

Every day I am reminded of how much I love my kids.  Yes, they can be exhausting, but they have taught me to cherish even the roughest moments!  I love listening to their stories, talking to them, laughing with them, and playing games with them.  I want them to do their best in all circumstances, but I will love them regardless.  However, there are times my boys seem to want more.  They want to show me that they are better than others.  They want to prove that they are the fastest, smartest, or strongest.  One of my two year old’s favorite phrases is:  “I win!!”  Sometimes it seems like human beings are only satisfied if we think we have earned the love we have.


This week we are coming to the end of our sermon series on the book of Galatians.  Every time I read this book I discover something new.  The book itself is actually written in a very harsh tone.  The Apostle who wrote the letter, Paul, is completely fed up with people who are dismissing the Good News that Jesus came to proclaim.  Instead of receiving God’s Gift of Grace, they want to build their church by their own works.  Each person was trying to prove they were better than the next. 

Competition is ingrained in the human experience.  We love to be the best, and this can be a good thing.  There are healthy ways to compete, but there are also times it can be very destructive.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us to pay attention to something beyond human competition.  In Galatians chapter 6 verses 1-5 it says:


Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted. Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks they are something when they are nothing, they deceive himself. Let each one examine their own work. Then they can take pride in themselves and not compare themselves with someone else. For each one will carry his own load.


This verse really is continuing the message from the previous chapter that says we all have spiritual gifts, and we don’t need to go around diminishing another person's giftedness.  


Today I hope we can all just take time to receive what God has given us. 

Let’s not try and win our way into God’s favor. 

We are loved. 

That is the promise. 

There is no greater miracle than that.  




Pastor Brian

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Love in the Here and Now

 Galatians 4:6-7

Pastor Paul writes, Because you are God’s children, God also sent the Spirit of his Son Jesus into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a child of God...

Is there something inside of you that is crying out to God?  What is your heart searching for?  Are you listening for God’s love?

A couple of days ago, I was feeling pretty exhausted.  It had been a busy day at work, and when I got home, my life got even crazier.  My wife was out so I was trying to feed the kids as fast as possible, clean the house, and try to stop someone from crying every 5 minutes.  It was rough.  Looking back, I know I was trying to do too much.  Finishing work calls, preparing food, and fixing the sink...  When I finally let go of everything else and embraced the moment, the day turned around.  I was able to fully engage with the kids, we sang, laughed, and danced way past bedtime.  Apparently we all needed to feel the devotion and love of another person.  Trying to do everything just left us angry and defeated.

I think we all need unconditional love, but we will rarely make time for this.  We fill our lives with other (less productive) things.  Our scriptures remind us that God’s love is always close by.  God loves us right now.  All we have to do is receive the gift.  

Today I hope that you can all feel a bit of God’s love and devote yourself to this moment… right here and now!