God has been showing me lately some tremendous truths about the way He loves us. I have always known in my head that God’s gift of salvation and the blessings He bestows upon us are free gifts from His mercy and grace. I have said this a million times but I have realized in these past few weeks that in my heart I still believe that it is performance based. Not necessarily salvation because I know without a doubt in my head and my heart that there is nothing we can do to earn and lose salvation but we just simply must confess that Jesus is our Lord and that if we believe in Him we will have eternal life. I am refering more to God’s blessings once we have entered into a relationship with Him. I have realized that my thoughts have been that if I do so many things right and good then I in a way expect to get something in return and on the other hand if I think I am being disobedient and just not measuring up to God’s desires for my character then I am expecting some sort of punishment or withdrawal of God’s rewards. This is so not right! I do think there is a healthy knowledge and understanding of the results of obedience and disobedience in the sense of there being consequences to walking outside the will of God but to say in a black and white fashion that obedience = rewards and disobedience = withdrawal of rewards is just not in God’s character. (I must clarify the meanings behind the word “blessings” and “rewards”. Blessings can come through emotions, feelings, and physical things while when I refer to rewards here I am referring more to physcal things i.e. money, possessions, opportunities, etc.). I tend to pray with the position that I have done x, y and z this week therefore God should answer my requests and if I have missed on doing “y” then I must do “y” first before I think God will answer my requests. God is so much bigger than my doing x, y and z. He loves us so much that He blesses us simply because He loves us. period. He doesn’t demand perfection before He walks alongside us and blesses us with His mercy, grace and love. God has blessed me in so many ways just this week while in the back of my mind I can count my many shortfalls of disobedience. Can God provide for us financially while I still struggle with doubt of the means through which He will provide? Yes. Can God bring salvation to my friends and family while I fail daily to display His love for them through my witness? Yes. Can God give me strength, hope and joy throughout this day while my first thoughts when I wake up are a sense of looming at the tasks ahead of me? Yes. I do not have to first be perfect and then God will show up. Why would I ever want to serve a God that requires this of me? I would always be 25 steps behind. I would always long to meet that perfection He would require of me yet I would know it was unattainable… a set up for defeat from the beginning. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that HE LOVED US and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10. Marvel today in how much God loves you and be thankful that there is nothing you can do to “deserve” it but simply find peace knowing He loves you irregardless of your performance.