Advent 2019: Day 10 – God Loves Us Despite Our Failings

Do you ever wonder if God reallyloves you?  After all, you failed at this, you sinned, you missed an opportunity, you mess up all the time, you just can’t seem to get it right, on and on and on.  There’s a million or more reasons that we sometimes feel like God just can’t love us. We are too unlovable.

You are wrong.

God has loved us from the beginning.  He will take his believers to a new heaven and a new earth and continue to show them love throughout eternity. And yes, he loves you while you are on earth. No matter what.

Let’s take a look at King David.  After he became king, he did some pretty “bad” things.  He slept with a married woman.  When she became pregnant, he tried to deceive people by having her husband, Uriah, come home from battle to be with her.  However, Uriah was a faithful soldier and would not enjoy his wife when his men were still at battle.  His plan having failed, David had Uriah killed and soon married Bathsheba.

In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

 

So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

 

1 Samuel 11:14-17 NIV

 

What David did was pretty bad.  Infidelity, deceitfulness, and murder.  He also had a son that raped David’s daughter (they were brother and sister).  Another son tried to overthrow David, violently.  Battles ensued constantly, people were rebelling consistently, and chaos ensued. Despite all of this, David is called “a man after my own heart.”

God loved this man, David. He didn’t love David because of anything that David did.  God loved David because of who God is.  When David was confronted by the prophet Nathan, and told that he did evil in the sight of God regarding Uriah, David was remorseful and repentant.  He knew he had messed up and he acknowledged it to God. He changed his behavior and sought to follow God the best he could.

 

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

 

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,

 

Psalm 51:1-4 NIV

 

David isn’t the only person in the Bible we can look at.  Another murderer is Paul, who was Saul before God gave him a new name. Paul persecuted Christians.  He felt it his duty to the world to rid it of Christians.  He felt that they were evil people.

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

 

Acts 8:1-3 NIV

 

In fact, it was while he was on his way to imprison Christians, that he had an encounter with God.

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

 

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

 

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

 

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

 

Acts 9:1-9 NIV

 

Jesus loved a man that was killing his believers.  He loved him so much that he appeared to him and changed his life.  Jesus changed Paul’s life so much that Paul would be instrumental in spreading the news of Jesus and expanding the church.  He is often looked at as the greatest missionary. Not because of anything he did, to be sure, but because of the love Jesus showed him.

We’ve looked at a murder. Let’s take a look at sexual sin.

A woman in Samaria was visited by Jesus.  In fact, he went out of his way to meet her.  Jews at this time would go aroundSamaria because they deemed the Samaritans impure, defiled people.  No onepurposefully went into Samaria.  In fact, they made sure they didn’t even accidentally go into it.  And they most definitely did not talk to the Samaritans.  Yet Jesus went into Samaria, straight to the well where this woman was.

She wasn’t just any woman. She was that woman.  A loose woman. One that was looked down upon because of her sinful lifestyle.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

 

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

 

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

 

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

 

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

 

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

 

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

 

“I have no husband,” she replied.

 

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

 

John 4:7-18 NIV

 

But Jesus came to her anyway.  Why? Because he loved her.  God hates sin, but he loves the sinner.  He wants everyone to come to him because he loves them. He also loves those who are broken, hurt, or undesirable because of their body/health.

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

 

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

 

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

 

John 5:1-9 NIV

 

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

 

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

 

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

 

John 9:1-7 NIV

 

When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

 

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.

 

Matthew 8:1-3 NIV

 

Throughout the Bible we see that Jesus loves everyone.  Whether you are rich or poor, healthy or ill, a criminal or upright citizen, woman or man, … he loves everyone.  He desires everyone to come to him.  Not all will, and they will suffer the consequence of that decision, but Jesus’ desire is for all to come.  Jesus expressed this to the world through his miracles, but also through his death and resurrection.

Jesus came to this world in order to be the last sacrifice.  He came to die a horrible death so that humanity could be saved from sin. At this time, people had to make blood sacrifices in order to atone for their sin.  Only blood would satisfy the debt owed for sin.  The blood of the sacrifice was an exchange for the person’s blood.  Jesus, through his death, became the last sacrifice.  Once he came back to life, anyone who believed in him would receive the Holy Spirit.  There was no need for sacrificing anymore because Jesus’ blood covered the sin.  In order for his blood to cover your sin, you need to believe in him.

For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

 

Hebrews 2:17 NIV

 

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed

 

1 Peter 2:24 ESV

 

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

 

Acts 2:38-39 NIV

 

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

 

John 10:28-29 NIV

 

Jesus calls out to everyone. Those who receive his call will be forgiven of their sins and spend eternity with him.  This isn’t because of anything we have done.  It also isn’t taken away because of something we do.  God’s love is constant.

So when you feel you are too broken to be loved, when you feel like you’ve messed up one time too many, or when life treats you unfairly, remember that Jesus loves you.  He is the one who matters.  He created you.  He is calling you.  All you need to do is answer and run to him.  He will not let you go.


PRAYER

Jesus,

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for showing me, in your word, that you love everyone.  It is so comforting to know that I can’t lose your love.  No matter what I do, no matter how broken I get, you still love me.

Help me to always remember that.  When the days are long and frustrating, when my body aches, when I mess up and sin, when I feel like I am drowning,… I know you are with me and that you love me.  I know that I cannot be snatched from your hand. Help me to feel that love.

Jesus, I love you.

Amen


EXTRAS

  1. What things in your life make you feel like you are unlovable?
  2. What does the Bible say about that?
  3. Think about ways that God has shown you his love. Record these things so that you can come back to them when you are feeling unlovable.

 


TRADITIONAL ADVENT READINGS FOR DAY 10

 

Psalms 26, 28

Psalms 36, 39

Amos 7:10-17

Revelation 1:9-16

Matthew 22:34-46


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Posts for Advent 2019

Advent 2019: Day 24 – Jesus’ Birth

Tomorrow is the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth! What better way to observe Christmas than to read the account from the Bible.

Advent 2019: Day 22 – Peace

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