Beyond labels
(The Philippine Star) - July 18, 2019 - 12:00am

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

A church in my city has a unique welcome card that captures the love and grace of God for everyone. It says, “If You Are A . . . saint, sinner, loser, winner” — followed by many other terms used to describe struggling people — “alcoholic, hypocrite, cheater, fearful, misfit . . . . You are welcome here.” One of the pastors told me, “We read the card aloud together in our worship services every Sunday.”

How often we accept labels and allow them to define who we are. And how easily we assign them to others. But God’s grace defies labels because it is rooted in His love, not in our self-perception. Whether we see ourselves as wonderful or terrible, capable or helpless, we can receive eternal life as a gift from Him. The apostle Paul reminded the followers of Jesus in Rome that “at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6).

The Lord does not require us to change by our own power. Instead He invites us to come as we are to find hope, healing, and freedom in Him. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (v. 8). The Lord is ready and willing to receive us just as we are. – David McCasland

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your amazing love in Jesus.

READ: Romans 5:1-11

God’s forgiveness defies our labels of failure or pride.

Bible in a Year:

Psalms 20-22 and Acts 21:1-17

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