Jesus may still love you, but do you love Jesus?

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“I can do whatever, I sin daily and Jesus still loves me.” Hannah Brown, the current season’s Bachelorette and self-proclaimed Christian, stated this in a preview for an upcoming episode. Luke Parker, one of the guys competing for her this season, has stated that while he is not a virgin, he is now committed to waiting until marriage for sex. And that was part of her response during what is being perceived as judgmental comments from Luke regarding her sexual decisions.

I knew early on there would be attempts to desensitize people to sex outside of marriage. To not only normalize it but also paint a picture of what the type of people that decides to wait until marriage for sex look like. There was Colton Underwood- the inexperienced virgin. Not that he was honoring God and his commandments regarding the marriage bed but that he waiting for love. I could go on a tangent about how those should be one in the same, but I’ll digress for now. Now we have Hannah- one who proclaims her faith often; one who has admitted she is not a virgin, which is fine. It’s what follows that I struggle with most.

There is a difference between not being perfect and blatantly sinning.

When we talk about the grace of God and His love for us, do we actually know what that means? God’s grace doesn’t demand perfection but His salvation does default to obedience. It was never designed to be a free pass to sin. It’s this nonchalant attitude- it’s this taking advantage mentality that makes me so sad. How would we feel if our spouse treated us the way we treat Jesus?

“Because I know she’ll still love me, I’ll cheat on her…”
“Because I know he’ll forgive me, I’ll flirt a little…”

Our hearts would break as we realize our spouse couldn’t really love us and feel that way, act that way. So what are we doing in our relationships with Christ?

“True love for God means obeying his commands…” 1 John 5:3

“Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him…” 1 John 2:4

“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.” 1 John 3:9

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” Romans 6:1-2

How are we showing God we love Him?

I think we are quick to justify because something in us knows we are wrong. We know we messed up. But we know condemnation comes from the devil and that is what Jesus freed us from. So we fight back because we don’t want to feel condemned.

We know we aren’t perfect but the difference between Christians and non-Christians lies in our love.

As Christians, we’ve experienced the love of Christ and that love compels us to do nothing but attempt to love Christ back. Have you all noticed how easy it is to love others who consistently love us? When we don’t attempt to love Christ back, it makes me question whether or not we’ve truly experienced Christ’s love and realize what we’ve be rescued from. I’m not talking about hell right now. I’m talking about being rescued from our own selfishness and sin- our flesh. We are no match for the devil in our own strength but Christ, through the Holy Spirit, not only convicts us but helps us to overcome. That is why it is crucial we don’t throw out our convictions for the sake of ridding ourselves of condemnation.

Hannah argues that “your faith is something personal and a relationships and it’s not to judge others.” And she is right… to an extent. If you are to read the Bible in its entirety, you will see that that God judges but He also forgives, that Christians aren’t to judge but we are to hold each other accountable. On the surface, it may seem contradictory but as a whole it tells a beautiful love story.

“It’s all washed and if the Lord doesn’t judge me and it’s all forgiven, then no other man, woman… anything can judge me,” Hannah continues. Jesus does wash away our sins, but these common words surrounding being washed by Jesus’ blood comes at the critical crossover of accepting Christ’s love AND full repentance*. Unfortunately, the repentance part is often left out, thus resulting in the majority of American culture claiming to be Christian with no evidence thereof.

*The Hebrew the term (chazar b’t’shuvah) refers to turning back to God (and away from sin). You move. You change directions. You don’t continue your same patterns, same decisions. There is distinct action that follows a true repentant heart. It involves both a change of mind and a turning from sin.

The beauty of Christianity is the extent of the unfathomable love the Creator of the universe has for His children. But that love was never meant to be abused or taken advantage of. It’s impossible to say we believe and not change; it’s impossible to accept His love and not act. When we truly experience the love He has for us, we can’t help but love Him back. Jesus’ love would result in a one-sided relationship otherwise; without our love for Him, the love story never comes to fruition, resulting in eternal separation from the love that was once so easily accessible.

“For this is how much God loved the world- He gave His one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in Him will never perish but experience everlasting life.” –John 3:16 TPT

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*** 1 John is an excellent book of the Bible to study this concept more in depth. Here are a few of the passages I referenced with more context:

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah is God’s spiritual child and has been fathered by God himself. And everyone who loves Father God loves his children as well. This is how we can be sure that we love the children of God: by having a passionate love for God and by obedience to his commands. True love for God means obeying his commands, and his commands don’t weigh us down as heavy burdens…” -1 John 5:1-3 TPT

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 1 John 2: 2-6 ESV

“You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:5-10 ESV

 

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Thoughts on the 28 Bachelorette contestants including the seven she sent home and my personal favorite

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I have a love/hate relationship with this show. I will probably write another blog post on the pros and cons of this type of dating scenario, although some would argue there are only cons. But if I were the Bachelorette, here is my assessment of the 28 guys who made it to the show. You may want to grab some popcorn…

Let’s start with the seven she sent home:

  1. Jake– I would have sent him home too. The fact that he doesn’t remember meeting Becca other times shows a lot. A girl wants to feel special, pursued. If you don’t even really remember meeting me, not to mention the fact that you didn’t even show a little interest before, why all the sudden would you think now would be a good time to act on those non-feelings? Oh, to win, duh.
  2. Joe– I feel like a lot of people liked Joe but I didn’t and I’m glad she sent him home. He seems like a fun guy but does not mesh well with Becca at all romantically. I could see him being with someone like Tia though.
  3. Kamil– Okay, I would have sent him home once he spoke his first words. Telling Becca to “come here.” Umm what? Relationships are 50/50 so come to me. If you are already starting off by telling me what to do, bye. Besides, I feel like relationships are 100/100- it’s not healthy to keep track like that, in my opinion.
  4. Chase– Chase is a prime example of reaping what you sow unfortunately. Part of me wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I just wasn’t a fan of the way he handled the situation. In that situation, you are trying to get to know someone’s character in a very short amount of time. That whole situation just didn’t help his case and I probably would have let him go too.
  5. Christian– I honestly don’t remember too much about this Christian. So I’m okay with him being let go.
  6. Darius– I don’t remember anything about this guy. Guess I won’t get to know anymore about him either.
  7. Grant– I was surprised she let Grant go over some of the other ones she let stay. I didn’t see him lasting long but definitely would have let him stay over some of the others.

Here are the 21 she decided to keep:

  1. Garrett– Okay, I see why Becca likes him and why she gave him the first impression rose. I like his adventuress side but that’s about it so far. He seems to live in the moment a little too much for me now but he may be a perfect match for Becca. I could see him fitting in well with her and her family.
  2. Colton– I can’t see him being with Becca because he belongs with me! Just kidding, but seriously, Colton is my favorite by far. You all know him mentioning he is still a virgin sealed the deal for me. Though I’m not a fan of his quote of not necessarily waiting for marriage but waiting for the right person. I may or may not have sent him a DM on IG encouraging him to stay strong and wait for marriage.
  3. Alex– He’s cute. Unfortunately, that is all I remember from him. I want to say he was a little awkward too but who isn’t sometimes?!
  4. Blake– While listening to Blake tell his story, I was like bye. But Becca said she felt like she connected with him. To me, it seems like he isn’t over his ex yet and it’s not wise to jump into another relationship so quickly, in my opinion. I probably would have let him go.
  5. Chris– I appreciate Chris telling Becca about Chase. But it was still kind of weird. Just hoping he did it for the right reasons. Don’t see him with Becca in the long run.
  6. Christian– Okay, Mr. Harlem Globetrotter. He was one of my favorites. Just a fun guy and lots of energy. Can’t wait to see more from him.
  7. Clay– There are several things I like about Clay. I love that he’s a professional football player, which shows hard work and determination. I love that he seems super close with his family. The only thing I don’t like is that he seems a little quiet and not silly enough for my liking.
  8. Connor– I was a little on the fence with him but I’m leaning toward liking him I think. I want to see more. And he’s super cute.
  9. David– Pretty sure David was the one in the chicken suit. And if so, I think he might be my second favorite. Kudos to anyone who’s willing to be silly and make the most of this short life we’ve been given. I’d take a guy in a chicken suit over a guy that’s too-cool-for-school any day. He’s also pretty good looking which makes it even better. It’s so funny how the guys were offended by getting sent home over a guy in a chicken suit. If you really want to know how that’s makes perfect sense, I’d be happy to tell you:)
  10. Jason– I really don’t remember anything about this guy. Nothing.
  11. Jean Blanc– No. A cologne collector. What?! Bye.
  12. John– Didn’t this guy say he made the venmo app? Umm I’m sure this guy is super smart, which is attractive, but I have a feeling he’s a little too arrogant for my liking.
  13. Jordan– Definitely one of my favorites! Not to ever date but just to make fun of! He cracks me up. I did write him on IG too and he responded. I basically told him it’s going to be hard to find someone to love him as much as he loves himself;)
  14. Leo– That hair! Leo definitely does his own thing, which is so cool. But I have no idea what he is doing on the show. Someone must have applied for him. This is not his thing at all which I must say is very attractive.
  15. Lincoln– Lincoln is just a cool guy. Loved hearing part of his story and culture. I also love his name. He’ll be interesting to learn more about.
  16. Mike– I don’t know what to think about Mike yet. That long hair. Sometimes it looks great, other times not. I’m leaning more toward not liking him but we’ll see.
  17. Nick– I feel like Nick and Jordan would be best friends. Although, I am loving all of the Florida guys on this season. Represent! Jordan’s into himself because of his looks; Nick is into himself because of his looks and having a law degree.
  18. Rickey– Don’t remember too much about him but he is cute and seems like a sweet guy.
  19. Ryan– Okay, Ryan is definitely quirky which I like but it may be just a little too much. On the fence with him at this point. It’s hard to find the right balance of confidence and humbleness I think sometimes.
  20. Trent– Trent looks like a very nice, low key guy. I want to see more of him.
  21. Willis– I didn’t see enough of Willis. We’ll see what new thoughts I’ll have once I see him more.

Let me know your opinions in the comments below. Tell me not to watch the show. Tell me it’s all fake. Tell me who you like the best!

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photo credit: gusdiaz Red is the first color of spring. via photopin (license)