FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
 
      “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

      The 24th season of The Bachelor began airing on ABC last month. On this popular reality television show, a single man meets 25 to 30 single women. As the show progresses, he gets to know them a little better and he eliminates the women he is not interested in dating anymore. Sounds cruel, right?  It is.  But it’s all done in the name of “love”–and entertainment.

      As the women on the show are publicly rejected, one by one, they feel awful. One woman expressed her hopelessness, saying, “If I could have opened myself up to him, I think, if he saw the real me, he would definitely reconsider.” Another thought if she were more beautiful or charming, then he would have chosen her. “I tried, and it just wasn’t enough,” she said.  In human romance, many times, heartbreak comes before lasting love.

      But Almighty God is not like this. God does not line people up, inspect them, and then reject the ones He doesn’t like because that is not what real love does. Sometimes our worldly expressions and ideas about love are so cheap that it’s almost impossible to fathom, in contrast, the wonderful extent of God’s love.  God already knows everything about us and He loves us. He knows our strengths and weaknesses; our secret sins and personal joys and He loves us.  God’s love gives us a second chance, and a third and many more chances than we deserve. The late Rev. Billy Graham put it this way: “No matter what sin you have committed, no matter how dirty, shameful or terrible it may be, God loves you. You may be at the very gate of hell itself, but God loves you with an everlasting love.”

      So unlike those contestants on The Bachelor, don’t worry about showing God the “real you” or “trying to be enough.” Just know that God’s everlasting, unconditional love is available to anyone who turns their heart toward Him.
In Christ’s love,  
Pastor Steve