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Scripture: Col 3:8-11 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

Phil 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Story: I have a hard time understanding God's unconditional love. I've walked with the Lord for almost 20 years and His love and grace still amaze me. When things are going "right", when I'm sensing His presence and walking in His ways, God's love for me makes sense. It's easy to view His love as a great reward for my good behavior. The problem arises when I inevitably become comfortable, complacent and fall. It's then that His love becomes troubling. Love showered on one who is undeserving. It's at this point that I need to decide to abandon my stiffnecked and rebellious attitude, humbly repent and turn back to Him. What is truly amazing is that through it all God's love is constant and unchanging. The truth is, whether things are "right" or "wrong", God's love for me does not change. I can work harder, behave better, try with all my heart and strength to be conformed to the image of Christ and none of these things will affect God's love for me. His love is based on who's I am, not who I am or what I do. Thank God for His amazing love and grace.

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