Unconditional Love

When I thought about Easter, and what I could write and how to approach it, the first thing that came to my mind was love. The Love of Jesus. When we think about Easter and all of the events that transpired during this time, the only thing I can think is- Woah! Jesus loved me that much? So much that He endured the pain of the cross and died for us, so that we could live, so that we could have hope, so that we could have joy. He endured this pain for me, for you, for the person sitting next to you in class, for your family members, for your teacher or boss.

I think the majority of us are familiar with the Easter ‘story’, how Judas betrayed Jesus which led to the Roman soldiers capturing and torturing him, ultimately nailing him to a cross and killing him (Matthew 27). Jesus was then taken to a borrowed tomb (Matthew 27:60), and was dead for three days. On the third day though, they found the stone rolled away, and the tomb empty- Jesus had risen from the dead (Matthew 28). How miraculous!

This love, the love that Jesus has for us is unconditional and sacrificial. Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. He loves us without conditions, we don’t need to pass a test or make perfect decisions for Him to give us His love, it is a gift that has no conditions, no hidden motive, no ‘fine print’.

Throughout my life I have experienced being loved and giving love. I have been blessed to have grown up in a loving family with parents who worked hard to provide my brother and I with an environment that was completely different than theirs, an environment that was full of unconditional love. I know not everyone has that, and a lot of people are growing up in or have grown up in a home where love is not the environment, where they don’t feel unconditionally loved. Unconditional love is something that is rare, that is beautiful, and when you are given it, hold on to it.

Jesus sacrificed His life for ours, so that we could live. He gave His life for ours. I think that the least I can do is return the favor. He isn’t asking us to be tortured and hung on a cross, He is asking us to show selfless love like He did. He is asking that we follow His Word, and model our lives after His. He is asking for a relationship with us.

Jesus died on that cross, to show us His unconditional love. He died so we don’t have to. Because of the cross we can have eternal life. And now, knowing this- it is our job to give love, like Jesus did.

 

Sabrina Hope

Record Keeping

Todays society is built upon record keeping. We keep record of everything: birth certificates, medical charts, school reports, immunizations, and even work-related documents. We begin our record keeping at birth and continue this system for the rest of our lives. Some of us are more organized than others when it comes to record keeping, but either way, it is a huge part of all of us.

We think of record keeping as more information based; however, God keeps records out of love. God knows the number of hairs on your head, the day you were born, the plans He has for your life, and so much more! God keeps tons of records about you, but there is one record God refuses to keep.

1 Corinthians 13 explains to use what love truly looks like. In this chapter, we learn that “love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, and is not proud.” We learn about what love is and what love isn’t; however, in verse 5 we learn one thing that love can do.

1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love “…keeps no record of wrongs.” Love does not keep any records of when we mess up.

In 1 John 4:8, we learn that God is love. God is love and love does not keep records of our wrongs. When we mess up, when we sin, when we do something we know is not right, God does not keep a running list of everything that we have done wrong. Through repentance and asking for forgiveness, God’s blood that He shed for us on the cross washes away everything wrong in our lives. By His mercy we are forgiven and are not given the punishment we deserve. By His beautiful grace we can move forward and live a Godly life full of joy and peace.

If God does not keep a record of our wrongdoings, neither should we. When we have received God’s forgiveness, we must let go of the past so we can move forward. Forward into the path God has chosen. Forward into the calling God has placed on our lives. Forward into our relationship with Him. Of all the records that are kept about us, I am so thankful for a God that removes the record of our sins as far as the east is from the west.

about sarah

Sarah Barnhill, 21, is from Texas and is the middle sibling out of three girls in the Barnhill family. She recently graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with her Bachelor’s degree. Her favorite snack happens to be Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos!