[The following devotional is a part of our 2015 Easter Season Devotional Book “Passion Road.” We will be posting a devotional each day on this blog between February 18 – April 5, 2014.]
Budgetless Love by Mark Robinson
Read: John 18:12-32
We all live on a budget. Due to the finite number of dollars in our bank accounts, we are forced to make choices on where our money goes. This shows up in virtually every area where our money is spent:
- We may like the $500,000 house, but limited bucks lead us to live in the $500 per month apartment instead.
- We may want to drive the $50,000 SUV, but our budget may dictate that a Honda Civic is the better buy.
- We may want to vacation on Miami Beach, but our budget may lead us to Miami, Oklahoma instead.
Virtually everyone is familiar with this concept. We budget our resources to maximize the impact of our limited dollars.
Because we are so familiar with budgeting our money, we apply its principles to other areas of life . . . including our relationship with God. We have all heard that God desires that “all people are saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).” We hear this verse, but we temper this notion with the idea that God’s forgiveness (like our money) is also limited. We subconsciously believe that God operates His forgiveness on a budget. We think that God will forgive MOST sins, but certainly not ALL sins. At times, we can even convince ourselves that God’s mercy budget simply limits Him from forgiving a sin or sins that I have committed.
However, our understanding of budgeting does not apply to the forgiveness God provides. This is because God’s love is limitless. The Apostle Paul tells us this in Ephesians 3:18-19 when he describes God’s love as “surpassing understanding.” Though God’s limitless love is declared to us via Ephesians 3, it is also demonstrated for us by Jesus Himself in John 18.
In John 18:12-32 we see Peter deny Jesus publicly three times. Not only did Peter deny Jesus, but he denied Jesus when Jesus really needed a friend. Not only did Peter deny Jesus when Jesus really needed a friend, but he did so with Jesus full knowledge (Jesus had predicted Peter’s failure during the “last supper.”) These sins seem like they are “$500,000/Expensive SUV/Miami Beach” expensive. If Jesus had failed to forgive Peter for these sins, we would have understood . . . we would have understood that His love simply had limits.
However, John 21 shows us that Jesus fully forgave Peter for his failures and reinstated Him to full ministry service. This demonstration should encourage you and me. We are all sinners who fall short of God’s perfect standards. Thanks be to God, because of Christ He forgives us based on His limitless love that requires no budget.
- Is there a sin you have committed that you doubt God can forgive?
- Confess all your sins to the Father who can forgive them in Christ out of His budgetless love.