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Monday
Oct022017

Release the shame: Jesus, a true friend, loves you as you are

Photo Credit: Getty/Blend Images JGI/Jamie GrillArticle By Empowering Everyday Women Ministries // Spiritual

Share What qualifies a person to be your friend—your real, genuine friend, and not just an acquaintance?

A friend is someone who knows you inside and out; they’ll stick with you through your ugly days, and celebrate with you during the good times! They love you, even if at times you may offend them, and they are there to pick you up and support you when you fall.

You’re not afraid to be yourself around your friends—flaws and all.

But when it comes to God, you’re much more closed off. You feign perfection because you fear His judgement, and you try to erase the mistakes you’ve made in the past, just in case they disqualify you from being a Christian.

But isn’t Jesus our friend?

When we mess up, we don’t need to shy away from God. As long as we admit our faults, He is just to forgive us (1 John 1:9), with the same quickness an earthly friend dishes out forgiveness when you apologize for offending them.

Real friends love you regardless of what wrongs you may have committed in the past, and God is the same way. He is not holding your past against you, condemning you to eternal guilt and shame over what you did (Romans 8:1).

Our verse of the day, John 15:13, reads in the NIV:

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.”

A real friend will sacrifice for you, and God made the greatest sacrifice of all time; He gave up His perfect son, for imperfect people.

What greater proof of His friendship can you find than this, that Jesus willingly gave His life for those who loved Him—and what greater proof of His love, than the fact that He also died to save those who hated Him (John 3:16)?

Perfection is not required to be God’s friend, all that He requires is reciprocated love. Love as Jesus loves, unconditionally, compassionately, whole-heartedly, selflessly, and demonstratively. And where your love and “righteousness” fails, Jesus’s love and righteousness covers. When you follow His commands, then you are God’s friend, and His only command is that you love.

So, stop beating yourself up over your lack of perfection. Jesus is perfect, so we don’t have to be. As long as you love Him, you are a friend of God.

Prayer: God, please help me to fully receive the gift of Your grace and love. Thank You for the sacrifice of Christ, the sinless one, whose blood covers all my sins and iniquities. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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