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Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Two things are inevitable: Pursue God, and you will find Him; find Him, and you will be exposed and challenged in one area of your life or another. And sometimes three!

I have been pursuing God for some time now (credit to Him, not me – for too many reasons to list here). The closer I get, the more exposed and challenged I feel. I understand this is normal, and it may be, but it is still uncomfortable.

For this edition of the Newsletter, I have been encouraged to confess three areas of my life in which I am particularly challenged and troubled. I trust the Holy Spirit will use my confession to encourage, edify, and equip you in some way. Praise God, we are in this together.

First, there is the matter of agape. Agape is what most of us know of as “God’s love”. It is the love God has for us and we are commanded to have for Him, the brethren, and our neighbors. For too many years, I understood and lived from the understanding that “God’s love is unconditional”. Several years ago, I discovered that God’s love is better described as sacrificial. John 3:16 is a great proof text for this.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

For several years now, I have chosen to keep this understanding at arm’s length. It is much easier to love unconditionally than sacrificially. Putting up with someone’s faults and foibles is simply not the same as dying for them. The Father has called me on this, and so I am confessing it to you now. Read the rest of this entry »

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