Jesus Always Tips the Scales

Are Your Problems Weighing Heavy? Jesus Always Tips the Scales

I was mentally weighing the “pros and cons” of my present circumstances, and the cons were getting heavy. Then I remembered the Lord’s love and the pro side of my scale dropped with enormous weight.

Are Your Problems Weighing Heavy? Jesus Always Tips the Scales
Life can be tough at times. Jesus warned us it would be:
“In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33

But Jesus finished that sentence by saying, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

Philippians 4:8-9 says it this way:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Sometimes our con list is weighing heavy and our pro list is miserably short. But when we have Jesus, He will always tip the scales!
Some other devotions to encourage you during adversity:
Those Who Suffer
Beauty for Adversity
or check out the Overcoming Adversity Archive of 1-minute devotions.

Do You Know Your Burger Better Than Scripture?

We memorize whatever we hear repeatedly

According to a 2007 study: “Put to the test, Americans recalled the seven ingredients of a McDonald's Big Mac hamburger and members of TV's 'The Brady Bunch' more easily than the Bible's Ten Commandments.”(1)

We memorize whatever we hear repeatedly
Our memories are incredible. If we hear something repeatedly, we memorize it, whether sights, smells, sounds, names, places, phone numbers, or song lyrics.

Without looking it up, I know a Big Mac has "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” I don’t even like Big Macs, but I’ve memorized the ingredients from repetitious McDonald’s ads.

I’ve memorized Scripture too, but I’m wondering which I know more – God’s precious Words or empty words.

Let's consider how we might add repetition of God’s Word to our schedules this week.

“The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Psalm 19:8

Copyright 2012, Gail Burton Purath
(1)-2007 Survey

Did you know that repetition serves other good purposes in our spiritual lives? Never Enough
Have you ever wondered about the childlike desire for Repetition? Do It Again, Poppy!

Don't Confuse Persecution With Consequences

Don't Confuse Persecution With Consequences - 1 Peter 3:17

People often confuse consequences and persecution.

1 Peter 3:17 says, “it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 

That means:

1. When we share Biblical truths in a rude manner and offend people, we're not being persecuted for the Gospel. The problem is our method, not our message.

Don't Confuse Persecution With Consequences - 1 Peter 3:17 2. When we're doing something sinful and another Christian corrects us, we're not being unfairly judged. We're refusing correction.

3. When others return our selfishness or inconsideration, we're not going through a trial. We're reaping what we've sown.

Scripture teaches:
1. Boldness with grace.
Colossians 4:6; 1 Peter 3:15

2. Gentle warnings and humble acceptance of correction.
2 Timothy 2:25; Galatians 6:1; Proverbs 19:20,25,27

3. Consideration and self-denial.
Philippians 2:3-4

It's very easy to create our own problems and blame them on something or someone besides ourselves. 

Our love for Christ compels us to accept responsibility and repent.

See: 4 Things that Happen When We Fail to Repent

Scripture Never Calls God's Love Unconditional

Scripture Never Calls God's Love Unconditional

follow up to A Misleading Description of God's Love

Unconditional = without conditions.

Many Christians call God's love "unconditional" when they actually mean undeserved, merciful, or gracious.

If God's love were truly unconditional, He'd:

1. View the wicked and righteous the same.
He doesn't: Psalm 5:511:5Proverbs 3:32-34Psalm 103:11Psalm 147:11; Matthew 10:37-38John 14:21; John 14:23; John 16:27.

2. Have no expectations and never be disappointed in anyone.
He does and is: Micah 6:8; Ephesians 5Genesis 6:6Mark 8:38; Ephesians 4:30.

3. Never discipline or punish.
He does: Hebrews 12:7-11Matthew 25:31-46; Romans 1:18Romans 2:5-11.

4. Be amoral, with no preference for good or evil. 
Not true: Psalm 33:5; Jeremiah 9:23-24

God's love is long-suffering, merciful, patient, holy, righteous, forgiving, eternal, perfect...given to any sinner who repents and follows Christ. That's better than unconditional!

God offers His loving salvation based on the condition of belief (John 3:16). He lovingly forgives based on the condition of repentance (Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:8-10). He lovingly rewards based on the condition of faithfulness.(1)

Scripture never uses the word unconditional to describe God’s love.(2)

God's love is better than human love and the Bible's descriptions of God's love are better than human descriptions.


Scripture Never Calls God's Love Unconditional
For a more detailed article about God's Love: Better Than Unconditional

Articles confirming this truth by respected Bible teachers:
R.C. Sproul 
Berean Publishers 
Bob Russell 

(1) God is love (1 John 4:8), so everything He does is an element of love - His commands, His salvation, His forgiveness, His judgment, His discipline, His punishment. For more on this, see If God is Love, How Can He Hate. For more on rewards, see A Trophy for Everyone.

(2) "Unconditional" is not a correct translation for any Hebrew or Greek word used in Scripture, nor is it found in any legitimate English translation. Perhaps the closest word to "unconditional" used to describe God's love is "everlasting" but his everlasting love and mercy is only given to those who fear Him (Psalm 103:17-18; Luke 1:50).

Still have questions and objections: See Q & A and feel free to ask a question in the comment section. 

Q & A about Unconditional Love

Q & A about Unconditional Love

These questions are a follow-up to the devotions A Misleading Description of God and Scripture Never Calls God's Love Unconditional.

1. God says He'll never leave or forsake us. Isn't that unconditional love? Romans 8:31-39

Scripture identifies this and other similar statements as promises. Most promises have conditions. For example the one above is given only to believers. Unbelievers will one day be separated from God (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Another example is the promise of forgiveness, given only to the repentant (1 John 1:8-10). Most promises are conditional. 

2. Do you really think that the majority of Christians who use the term “unconditional love” believe in cheap grace and the absence of hell?

I think many devoted Christians and Christian teachers use the term without recognizing the misunderstandings and inaccuracies it transmits.

Unfortunately, some professing Christians and non-Christians use the term to justify their lack of devotion and selfish lifestyles.

3. God does not base our salvation on our works or righteousness. Isn't that unconditional love? Ephesians 2:4-9

It’s true that we can’t earn or boast about our salvation. It’s a gift - a truly wonderful gift!! We can say God's love is "unearned" but since it’s only given to those who believe, it's not unconditional.

4. God loved us before we loved Him. Isn't that unconditional? Romans 5:8

God demonstrated (proved) His love by dying for us before we believed in Him. So we can say His love has always been available to us. But we still must believe in His redemption to receive it, so it's not unconditional.

5. God gives us salvation even though we don't deserve it. Isn't that unconditional? Romans 3:23

What a wonderful aspect of God's love - He died in our place! He gives eternal life to us even though we don’t deserve it. So we can say God's love is undeserved, but we don't receive it unless we believe, so it's not unconditional.

Q & A about Unconditional Love
6. Don’t you think we could say that God’s love is unconditional but some of His actions are conditional?

We can’t separate anything God does from who He is – God is Love (1 John 4:8) and everything He does is good and loving. 

God’s salvation, rewards, punishments, expectations, disappointments are all demonstrations of His perfect love. And they all have conditions. 

The wonderful news is that no condition is beyond our grasp.

7. Why do you think the term "unconditional love" is so popular?

To be honest, I don’t know why. I used the term for many years before exploring the meaning. Why do we use a word not based on Scripture? 

It’s a sad fact that anything repeated often enough – even if it’s not true – comes to be accepted as fact. 

I hope the majority of Christians use it without actually believing the errors it contains.

But I think any use of the description promotes confusion.

When people share the Gospel, unconditional love can give unbelievers the false impression that there's no cost involved in salvation. But Christ says otherwise (Luke 14:25-34). See "Is it Necessary to Mention Hell?"

But the worst result of this popular description is the heresies it enables such as universal salvation, cheap grace, and worldliness. See No Condemnation and Rejecting Cheap Grace.

This false belief in unconditional love is nothing new. Paul addressed this heresy in Romans 6.

8. Our English translations of the Bible are based on the Greek and Hebrew. Isn’t “unconditional love” one way to translate these Greek and Hebrew words?

Bible translators try to be as faithful to the original languages as possible. Yet no legitimate English translation uses the word "unconditional" to describe God's love. It obviously does not accurately reflect any of the Biblical descriptions.

9. Does a word have to be found in Scripture to be valid?

No, there’s nothing wrong with using descriptions for God’s love that aren’t the exact words used in Scripture, but it’s wrong to use words that misrepresent God’s character as revealed in Scripture. 

It's so important that we not get sloppy with our Bible study:

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." Colossians 2:8

10. So are you saying that since God's love is conditional, He doesn't love sinners?

God passionately loves mankind (the world) enough to offer His Son as a sacrifice for sin.

He desires that men will choose to believe and follow Him. 

He isn't happy when men choose wickedness nor does He enjoy sending men to hell (Ezekiel 33:11; 1 Timothy 2:1-4). But He allows men to refuse His offers (for example: Matthew 23:37).

Another Resource:
God's Love is Better Than Unconditional
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