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March 21

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person— though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8

As a minister and chaplain I frequently talk with people who are questioning God’s love for them. They are often struggling with the past and feeling guilt over something they have done or left undone. Often their guilt is like a low- grade infection dragging them down and affecting everything they do.

I can listen to them with understanding because I too have wrestled with
questions about God’s love for me. But eventually I always bring us back to the warm assurance of today’s text: “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

Maybe I was not listening as a child, but I would come home from church
thinking that God would love me IF I was somehow good enough. Or maybe it was just my bent nature as Adam’s offspring to fancy that God’s love is somehow based on my performance. Add to that the fact that the gospel is often presented as getting “your act together” so God can love you. But the cross of Christ stands as testament to God’s unconditional love for us, and God’s love for us just as we are.

Our text carefully outlines the kind of people God loves. It says that while we were “still weak,” unable to perform any righteousness, Christ loved us and gave himself for us. It was while we were “the ungodly,” and inherently opposed to God that Christ died for us. And it was “while we were still sinners,” still stuck in the old sin trap, that God loved us.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) struggled with guilt more that most of us, and then he looked to God’s love demonstrated at the cross. Luther realized: “Since Christ accepted the thief on the cross just as he was, and received Paul after all his blasphemies and persecutions, we have no reason to despair. Good God, what do you think it means that he has given His only Son?”

Yes! Good God!

MEDITATION

Soaking in Scripture…
Today’s Andy Moments…

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