Day 5: I have made a sacrifice for you | Love Letters

Sac·ri·fice: to make an offering of; to destroy, surrender, or suffer to be lost for the sake of obtaining something.

[Source]

True love means action.

It’s one thing for God to claim He is loving, but we can know His love is fact for ourselves, because He has demonstrated it to us. He has acted upon His love, and He continues to do so today.

But sin separates us from understanding God’s love.

It’s no secret that evil exists in the world today. By simply watching or reading the news, we become aware of tragedies, injustices, and horrific events every single day.

This is the state of mankind, which began when humans first rebelled against God. Romans 5:12 (ESV) states, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—.”

That is, after Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, sin entered the world. Since then, man has continued to fall into a path of sin–evil acts that have resulted in death and destruction. Initially when we think of sin, we probably think of obvious evils such as murder, stealing, and other unjust crimes that clearly lead to death and destruction.

However, sin also includes acts that may seem justifiable at times such as lying, jealousy, etc. These “little” sins have big consequences. It’s like a domino effect–one thing leads to another. Deceiving someone can cause extreme brokenness–many relationships suffer greatly because of that. Jealousy can lead people to do some pretty messed up things. I mean, think about Cain and Abel (the sons of Adam and Eve) in Genesis 4. It was Cain’s jealousy of his brother, Abel, that led him to murder him. And just like that, sin continued from one generation to another and literally led to death.

Sin is unfortunately a part of our human nature. I know I have sinned before. We all have. Just as Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the Garden of Eden, we often choose to do these things.

But I want to emphasize that we have a choice.

God did not create evil. He created us to have the freedom to make choices–Adam and Eve had a choice. We were not made to be robots. But once sin entered the world and evil acts could now exist, God had a plan to redeem His creation and provide justice for the effects of sin.

Again, sin separates us from God. Plain and simple–God is good, evil is bad. You can’t mix the two. Sin and the harm it causes has no place with God, and when mankind fell into sin, it broke our relationship with Him. We now had an affinity for things apart from God. We now wanted to do things our way, not His. Once again, sin has caused destruction and harm in the world. This is not God’s plan for you.

That’s why He sent Jesus Christ, His Son. We are all guilty of sin. Although Jesus did not sin, He took the blame for us, because He loved us. The wages, or the payment, of sin is death, and so Jesus had to die on the cross (Romans 6:23).

Hanging on a cross (crucifixion) was a form of execution for criminals at the time. Although Jesus is God, He is God in the flesh (aka as a man)–that means, He could feel everything we could feel, emotionally and physically. And so, as He hung on that cross, He felt every sting of pain, having His body beaten, His hands pierced, and His lungs gasping for air as He suffocated while hanging. But also as God, Jesus could rise again from the dead three days later, which would have otherwise been impossible. Fully man and fully God, Jesus could do what no man could do. Defeat the very thing that sin caused–death.

This is God’s true love for you: He sacrificed His own Son so that you could be saved from this very penalty of sin: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (1 Corinthians 5:21 NIV).

Now remember this: we have a choice. We can still choose to do things–good and bad. And so, evil still exists on earth–and there is a consequence for that. This is where God’s justice comes in. Sin, or evil, has to be punished. Hell is the punishment of sin, a place of eternal death, torment, and destruction, where we would be separated from God forever–again, because sin cannot exist where He is: “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9 ESV).

But death is not God’s will for you. This is why He has prepared a place for us in heaven. Heaven is a place with no sin, where any suffering we experience on earth will no longer exist–it’s eternal life: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4 ESV).

You do not get into heaven by simply doing good works. Jesus was the only One who gave His life to cover for you, and it’s through Him that you can secure your place in heaven. God clearly shows us how to do this in His Word: If you confess that you are a sinner and repent of your sins, believe that Jesus Christ is your Savior who died and rose again for you, God will forgive your sins (Romans 10:9).

By accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior, you can have security that you belong to God–the God who loves you and made this sacrifice for you–and you will not perish but instead, you will have eternal life. Through this decision you make, you have no condemnation, you are no longer held guilty for your sins, and you now have power in Him to overcome sin in your life. I encourage you with my entire heart to make this decision today.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Love Letter 5

14 days of learning God’s love. Learn about the Love Letters here.
Read Day 4

Read Day 6

 

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The Reason You Are Unfulfilled

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. 

(Revelation 2:4-5a ESV)


I’ll tell you a juicy secret.

I’m guilty of something. And I realize that every believer is guilty of this, too, at some point in their faith.

In the midst of all the losses and gains in our lives, we forget our first love. standing alone_edit

A fulfilling relationship with Jesus Christ can easily stop at the moment of salvation. By that, I mean we invite Christ into our hearts, acknowledging our need for Him for eternal life. This saves us and secures us for heaven. But we need to know that salvation doesn’t stop there. It continues now in our relationship with Him. Just as you desperately needed God to save you from sin, you still desperately need him to be everything–above any earthly desire you currently have.

Are you finding it difficult to really give something to God? You can pray and pray over and over, submitting it to the Lord. And you should. We’re taught to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), to come boldly before the throne (Hebrews 4:16), to test every spirit–any thing or person that comes our way–to see if it is really from God (1 John 4:1).

But if you’re struggling with unfulfilled desires and deep longings that seem to remain unmet time and time again, you may be missing a crucial thing.

Continue reading “The Reason You Are Unfulfilled”

The Happy Grad

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

(Psalm 1:3 KJV)


Grab a pen and paper. If you could have anything right now to make yourself happier, what would it be? List everything down that comes to mind.

What’s in your heart?

A few months ago before college graduation, I did this. It was the middle of spring semester, and it wasn’t the easiest senior spring. Some of my friends had one or two classes, and I had a full course load. Other friends had job offers since October, and I had no options in sight. I knew exactly what I needed to be happier: to graduate on the Dean’s List, a full-time offer for my dream job, etc. Basically, I would have LOVED a detailed road map of my future.

Graduation Cap_Edit

I didn’t get it, though. Instead I had to wait and take one day at a time. Ultimately, I wanted to be happy. I was totally content, but I wanted to know that when I walked across that stage in May, I would be taken care of.

Months later, I can tell you that God did give me the desires of my heart. I graduated summa cum laude, I got my dream opportunity. I can also tell you this doesn’t make me happy at the end of the day. The road to these things was unimaginable. But what makes me happy was that I chose to honor God when I didn’t understand.

Continue reading “The Happy Grad”

Love Series | Ruth (Part One)

But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”

(Ruth 2:11-12 NIV)


 

We can fall into the trap of seeking reward over seeking God. That is, instead of desiring God with love as our motivation, we only desire what He can do for us. If I pray today, I’ll pass this exam. If I go to church every Sunday this month, maybe God will reveal my husband. If I read my Bible this week, I’ll find a new job. These thoughts might seem silly written down, but it’s funny how easily and often we slip into this thinking.

Instead of loving the Creator, we love things or people He created much more.

To kickoff the Love Series, we’ll be looking at the book of Ruth. When Ruth comes to mind, you might recall the “love story” of God bringing her and Boaz together in marriage. However, when we look deeper into her character, we see the life of an extraordinary woman whose love for God surpassed any other desire. Remaining loyal to the Lord in desolate circumstances, Ruth is led by Him to amazing redemption.

INTRODUCING RUTH

(Reference: Book of Ruth, Chapters 1-4)

The book of Ruth begins during a time of hopelessness. According to the end of Judges, we know that Israel is in a corrupted state:

In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25)

When the judges ruled, there was a sense of lawlessness as people disobeyed God and worshipped false idols. This lawlessness brought about much suffering to the nation.  Then, a famine in the land brought even more suffering.

In the first chapter of Ruth, a man named Elimelech fled with his wife, Naomi, and his two sons to Moab, in desperation. Moab was known for being a dry, infertile land, but the famine was so severe that it was better to live there than in Israel (more specifically, in Bethlehem, Judah).

Tragedy continued when Elimelech died, but his sons (Mahlon and Chilion) married Moabite women. Here we are introduced to Ruth, a Moabite woman who married one of the sons. The other son’s wife is Orpah. However, even after the family sought refuge in Moab, more ruin came years later:

After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. (Ruth 1:4-5)

There’s a lot to say about Ruth’s story, but keeping consistent with the theme of love, I will be focusing on two aspects of her character: her love for God and her love for others, both of which align with God’s commandments for us (see Matthew 22:27-29).

A Love for Others

Ruth’s character reflects willingness, diligence, friendship, and love. A love for others as God instructs us to have. God’s love restores, and through Ruth’s own love and loyalty, restoration comes as a blessing.

One of the ways we see her love is through her deep bond and friendship with Naomi.

After the devastation of loss, Naomi acknowledged that their situation seems quite unredeemable. She and her two daughter-in-laws were now widows in poverty. Naomi even expressed that they should leave her, since she was now old and had no sons (to offer them if they were to remarry) and thus nothing to improve their situation (Ruth 1:12-13). What’s interesting is that her daughter-in-laws were dear to her–especially now that she was widowed. For instance, Naomi often referred to Ruth as her own daughter. Yet, because she loved them, she was willing to sacrifice and let them go so that they could have a better life.

Despite this, Ruth refused to leave Naomi, cleaving unto her:

And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. (Ruth 1:14)

And later, Ruth added:

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16)

Ruth accompanied Naomi to Bethlehem where there was a harvest (Ruth 1:22). The law allowed the poor to gather food left over during harvest times as a sort of provision. Ruth showed pure intentions and loyalty to her mother-and-law, having a willingness to care for her, taking an opportunity God provided for her needs to be met. In Ruth 2:2-3, she went to work in the field. She was a woman of action, not afraid of difficulty, willing to put in the work to access God’s provision.

A Christ-like Love

Ruth’s character didn’t go unnoticed by others–and most importantly, it didn’t go unnoticed by God.

In the second chapter of Ruth, we are introduced to Boaz.

And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. (Ruth 2:1-2)

We read that Boaz was a wealthy man who had some relation to Elimelech. Boaz played a crucial role in this story, as he served as a figure of Christ. Through him, God provided redemption for Ruth.

Although Boaz was wealthy, what truly made him remarkable was the fact that he was a man of God, which was evident through his treatment of others and his acknowledgement of the Lord. For instance, in verse 4, he showed a concern for the well-being of his servants (as opposed to their work) through his greeting to them. Christ similarly has a deep care and desires such a relationship with us.

And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless thee. (Ruth 2:4)

Boaz took notice of Ruth when he found her on the field. It’s incredible that this meeting happened while Ruth was in the midst of her service, gathering food for her mother-in-law out of love, displaying her love for Christ with no other intentions behind it. In Ruth 2:3, Ruth “happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz”–she didn’t try to arrange it herself. She didn’t even know Boaz existed!

This same humility Ruth had being on that field was what gave her a reputation that Boaz recognized later on:

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. (Ruth 2:11-12)

As Boaz saw Ruth’s heart, the Lord recognizes our own hearts. He knows whether our service to Him and others is sincere or not. God honors a genuine heart–because it’s a heart that is actually willing to work with Him. This is exactly the case with Ruth. Her heart was willing, and it was used by God for His glory and to bless others.

A Love that Yields Obedience

Naomi and Ruth clearly saw the possibility of redemption through Boaz. Although Ruth (and Naomi) did not have any possessions or resources of her own, Boaz was able to provide for Ruth out of a pure love. So Christ is able to redeem us where we lack.

Ruth consulted Naomi about what her response to Boaz should be:

One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”

5 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do. (Ruth 3:1-6)

The instructions Naomi gave Ruth was for her to show a willingness to Boaz for marriage. From our perspective, this gesture might seem strange, but it represented a larger symbol of willingness. As we continue reading and see Ruth lay at Boaz’s feet, we should lay at the feet of Jesus, showing our own willingness and submission to Him. And Christ will not let us return empty-handed.

In Ruth 3:10-15, Boaz responded with great kindness, and he made sure that Ruth didn’t go without blessing, giving her barley to take back to Naomi:

When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?”

Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’ (Ruth 3:16-17).

Already through Ruth’s obedience, Naomi had been blessed. Our own obedience can be a great blessing to others–and similarly, our disobedience can be a great consequence to others.

This theme of blessings through obedience is seen in the marriage of Boaz and Ruth in chapter 4:

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” (Ruth 4:13-15)

Other people were able to acknowledge and praise the Lord through the marriage (in verse 11) and the birth of Ruth’s son (in verse 14). Also, this newborn child was Jesse, the father of David, “a man after God’s own heart.” What a beautiful testimony God created through Ruth’s life and trials. He brought her through famine and loss to abundance that impacted future generations.

Again, while Boaz was a type of Christ, in terms of his Christ-like love and character, Boaz was not God. He was not Ruth’s god, her central desire and purpose, but he was used as part of the plan that God had for her. Plus, just as Ruth desired the Lord, Boaz did as well. So, bringing them together brought God glory and also gave hope to others around them.

“WHAT ABOUT ME?”

You have needs. I have needs. We have all have needs. Notice that Ruth’s needs were provided for. Our Father wants to bless us, but it’s essential that our source of happiness doesn’t come from things, which are passing away and temporary.

Think about this: when something doesn’t work out that you were banking on, what will be your response? Are you going to turn away from God and blame Him? Again, nothing is assured in this life on earth.  Putting your hope in anything other than God will cause pain and emptiness. This is especially important to understand in our relationships. Nobody is perfect. People can make great company, but they are terrible gods.

So, examine yourself. First and foremost, do you have a relationship with God? It’s impossible to live for Him if you  haven’t first accepted Him as Savior. Redemption for us comes in the form of salvation, a guarantee of eternal life in heaven and a reconciled relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:10).

Second, is God your first love? Is He preeminent in your life? That is, does He come first before anything or anyone else? When we accept Christ as our Savior, God is present in our lives, but if we live in disobedience, against His Word, He is not preeminent–or reigns–in our hearts. So many of us who consider ourselves Christians de-throne the very God we claim to serve!

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence (Colossians 1:17-18).

Naomi understood that God was sovereign over all else. After the loss of her family, she stated:

…Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? (Ruth 1:20-21)

When I initially read these verses, I thought these were complaints or accounts of bitterness from Naomi. However, after studying the book of Ruth, it’s clear that Naomi had reverence towards God, and here she acknowledged the fact that He was in charge and that her life belonged to Him. God reigns, and He is in control of everything. She feared God, meaning she had reverence, or respect, for Him. This included understanding His character and that He is loving. Though we may not know how God is working through situations (e.g. Naomi’s tragedy), He works things together for good (His redemption in the end).

Ruth was provided for, and most importantly, she was used by God mightily.

This is where love starts. With our relationship with Christ. This is a relationship that only exists between you and the Lord. Nobody else can fix it or grow it for you.

If you’re at a point where you are struggling with putting God first in your life, I encourage you to refocus and reorient your love towards Him. It’s not too late for you. He’s patiently waiting and wants to redeem you.

 


Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

(2 Corinthians 5:20 KJV)

 

God Wants Us to Be Empty

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

(Luke 9:23 KJV)


We will do anything to avoid feeling empty. Nobody wants to go to bed at night feeling unfulfilled, no matter what good has happened during the day. We are afraid of emptiness. We make rash decisions to fill voids. We don’t want to acknowledge our brokenness, our mistakes. We’ll do anything to be happy. We’ll do anything to push away hurts. We’ll do anything to forget. Anything.

God works with brokenness and emptiness. These heavy burdens that we are carrying–He wants us to give them to Him. Think about that: God wants you to give your burdens to Him.

In fact, He wants us to give everything to Him.

Because of our fear of emptiness, we try to hold onto things that are not even good for us: Relationships, grudges, memories, anger, habits, false ideas, pride. God wants us to come empty. When we give these things to Him, then He can use us. If we are so full of these things we hold onto, we are leaving no room whatsoever for Him.

When we pursue the things that pull us away from God, we can’t be used by Him. He’d love to work through our lives and give us that breakthrough, the desires of our hearts, but it can’t happen if we continuously walk away from Him. I imagine there are things we have been convicted to let go of, but we are refusing to do so. And God is just waiting for us to make room in our lives to get to the next level.

Imagine giving all your cares to Him–all your desires, concerns–and saying, “Lord, I realize I cannot do this on my own. Do with these things whatever You’d like to, and I will follow You.”

Now that’s an attitude that God can work with. God can do wonders with willingness.  If we just lay EVERYTHING down, I imagine that He can create the most beautiful things with that.

This is how I see it:

We are canvases, and over time, we’ve gotten used and worn, and there’s years worth of paint that’s smeared all over us. When we allow God to take us, it’s not that we’re in some flawless condition (because we’re really not)–what’s happening is that we’re surrendering control and allowing Him to cleanse us. Surrendering to Christ is acknowledging that we are filthy–in need of cleansing–that we are sinners, and allowing Him to take care of the mess. The truth that we’ve been running away from is that we are needy, we are weak, we are not capable on our own. But God can chisel away the layers of muck that we have been drowning in so that we are clean, and from then, He can paint the most beautiful masterpiece of our lives for us.

That’s the beauty of it–God can use anyone. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. He loves everyone. It’s the heart that matters.

It comes down to you:

Are you willing to let go? Are you willing to turn away? Are you willing to let God transform you?

Why are you holding on?

The main idea here is that we are not called to remain as we are. Yes, God loves us. But we cannot live our full purpose on this earth unless we make that first step to empty ourselves. There is shame and guilt in sin. Living in sin, there is fear. Living in sin, there is doubt. Many times we get ourselves into the worst situations. Other times, our situations are not even our fault–it’s just the nature of the world that we live in. The world has fallen, and because of that there is no sense of justice and fairness–there is so much bad that can happen that we have no control of. But remaining stagnant in our nature is where we go wrong.

Jesus instructs those who want to follow Him to deny themselves and to take up their crosses. What does this mean? Taking up your cross encompasses your whole life–it radically changes your entire life, your decisions, your perspective. Why? Taking up your cross means to live fully for Christ. This involves giving Him your burdens, but it also means something greater–that we dedicate our entire lives to Him–every aspect of our lives. Our innermost thoughts. Our actions. Denying ourselves is a daily rejection of our natural, sinful ways–a complete denial, or emptying, of self.

Again this goes back to the truth that we are filthy, in need of a Savior to cleanse us. That we have needs, and that Christ can fill them.

This is the emptiness that God calls us to have. It is not one that is hopeless. It is not one that leaves us awake at night, deep in fear. It is not one that is bound by the troubles of this world.

This is a shedding of our past selves–in which we invite God to come inside and give us life. It is one that gives us security–that if we have accepted Him as Lord and Savior and confessed our sins, we know that we have eternal life in Heaven.

As humans on this earth, we will be filled of something–we will either choose to be filled with God or we will choose not to be. We can make the choice to be filled with life abundantly or we can choose to live in our own understanding that leads to a path of confusion, hurt, and destruction.

We see the decaying state of the world we live in, but we don’t have to choose to be part of that decay. Please don’t let anything get in the way of this understanding. We have all fallen short, and there are consequences for that. But there is an answer. There is a hope. There is contentment–and it is in God.


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

(Matthew 11:28 NIV)

Friendships, Rejection, and The Bigger Picture

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

(John 15:20 KJV)


At 1:00 a.m., when I should’ve been asleep, I caught myself in my thoughts. I found myself thinking:

There’s some people I really wish I was never friends with.

In the past, there’s people I felt I gave my best to them–my time, my love–and it felt as though they just took it (or maybe not even that!) and left without even looking back. I didn’t know if this was the right attitude to have, but I sincerely felt hurt and confused by that.

Was I taken advantage of? Did I do something wrong? Did they?

The longer questions poured into my mind, the more I found this “human hurt” so interesting, because we–and by, we, I mean everyone–have treated God the same way. The world has and continues to do so. God created the world–a world that has come to reject Him. What’s mindblowing is the fact that He still loves us unconditionally. He still gave His only Son for our salvation, being fully aware of the kind of rejection that He would experience.

I then started thinking: Would I have still offered just my friendship to certain people, if I knew that in the future they would have just betrayed and rejected me?

My first instinct was to say no. Why would I have wasted my time?

Yet God provided His Son to give eternal life–not just to anyone special but to everyone in the entire world. Everyone.

Ever felt ignored by someone who you care about? People deny the very existence of God–the same people He loves in ways we cannot fully comprehend and the same people He just wants to have a relationship with. He does not turn His back on them.

So I prayed: Okay, God. How am I supposed to see the people who have rejected me?

That’s when I started picking apart John 15:20.

“A servant is not greater than his lord.”

“If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”

I quickly realized that there’s a much larger struggle going on here–one that is beyond human relationships. We live in a world that has rejected God. The mere name of Jesus Christ–the Son of God–alone is hated by many. So, if you are trying to reflect Him, don’t be surprised if you lose relationships along the way.

Our purpose on Earth is much greater than the people we might lose. I believe people are often in our lives just for a season. And because of this, the most important job I believe a Christian has is to radiate God’s love despite this–especially while we still can to certain people.

Love, knowing that you may not receive it in return–which honestly, might often be the case. Love, knowing that you may be rejected but understanding that Christ Himself has done the exact same thing and was rejected in a way we never will be.

He was rejected in this way–crucified on a cross, where He was brutally beaten, spat on, mocked–so that we might have freedom and eternal life with Him in Heaven. And yet we, as humans, still have the choice to reject Him (but He did it anyway!)

As Christians, we have accepted Christ as our Savior and now we have this eternal life that He died to give! The best we can do is to share His Word in hopes that others join in on this freedom.

And if people are ever placed on your mind at 1:00 a.m., that might just be the Holy Spirit giving you a little reminder to show Christ’s love by praying for them.


This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

John 15:12 (KJV)