11 January 2009


I have heard the word deserve often today and it has caught my attention. I was up early this morning to head to church for the blood drive. I had an appointment for 8:30 am. It was the best time to fit into my day. In the middle of my donation I developed a clot in the line and in trying to fix the problem I bled out onto the floor. I was in no danger as my phlebotomist was very attentive and did a great job. I joked with her that although I give every quarter, I usually had the donation bagged, not spilled all over the place. She was very apologetic and remarked I would probably be sore and have a colorful bruise this week. She told me "Here you are doing something good for a stranger and you have to suffer, you don't deserve this." I laughed and said " I don't deserve God's grace either, but I am grateful for it all the same." After a bottle of water and a banana I headed over to the Chapel for the 9:30 service.

We began a sermon series today on love. At the beginning of his sermon our seminarian said we were going to have a quiz in which we would respond by a show of hands. It started off with who loves ....reading, sports, coffee and the like. He then asked "Who believes they deserve God's love?" To this question I did not see any raised hands. He then chided us for not believing we deserved God's love. As I listened to the rest of his sermon I kept returning to the word deserve. If he had asked me if I was accepting of God's love, I would have raised my hand. But I truly believe that what makes God's love a gift to me, is His gifting it to me regardless of my worthiness to receive it. So I have to confess, I just could not get around this point in his sermon. I think he was trying to make us see we should accept God's love with open arms.

When I got home a little while ago I pulled my dictionary from the bookshelf and looked for the definition of deserve. This is what I found:

To earn by service; to be worthy of (something due, either good or evil); to merit; to be entitled to; as, the laborer deserves his wages; a work of value deserves praise.

Using any of these definitions I can truthfully say I do not deserve God's love. I am however thankful that He does indeed love me. I believe every human being should be loved, but I believe that because God has loved them. If I am accepting of His love for me, how can I deny the same to anyone else? I know the reason God loves me is because He desires to do so.

God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he's rich in love.
He doesn't endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
Psalm 103:8-11
The Message

Accepting, delighting and giving thanks for His love,


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