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He saves my life from the grave and loads me with love and mercy. Psalm 103:4 NCV

How full is full? The answer to that of course depends on the size of the container to be filled, and what you are filling it with.  Also, the supply source can have an influence on your answer.

For example, if I were to try to fill a gallon container with water from a quart sized container the question becomes unimportant. I can’t fill the gallon sized container because my source will dry up. If, however my source is unlimited and my destination container is small, filling it to overflowing is easy.

 The Psalmist tells us that your Heavenly Father loads you up with love and mercy. Interesting thing about love and mercy. When they are present they squeeze whatever is inside of us out. Love and hatred can’t abide together. When I’m filled to overflowing with God’s love I can’t hate, even if I want to.

Mercy can’t co-habitate with guilt. Forgiveness can’t share a bed with revenge. Grace won’t be seen with a judgmental attitude. Freedom (in Christ) won’t associate with legalistic attitudes. Fear can’t sit down to eat with worry. Your new life in Christ ignores the voice of your past as it screams accusations and reminders of your failures.

You are a child of the Living God. When you accepted Christ onto your life and asked forgiveness of your sin something else happened. The Father filled you to HIS measure with love and mercy. The filling with God’s love is immediate even though the results can take time to show themselves.

Sometimes our humanity fights the filling so it takes time to see the full results. Don’t give up on yourself though. Don’t give up on God’s ability to remove the sludge of the old life. Constant reliance on his love will slowly squeeze out the fear, the doubt and the pain that keeps us from feeling the full benefits of your Fathers unlimited love and mercy.

So when the affair you had reminds you of your unfaithfulness, remember God’s mercy. When the words you wish you could take back haunt you, remember his forgiveness. When the bruises of an abusive past cause you pain, remember his love. When the voices of addiction taunt you and welcome you in, lean on his strength.

I love the phrase, “He loads me up with love and mercy’. In this we can find all the strength we need to carry on.

PRAYER: Father God I thank you for giving me the full measure of your love and mercy. I ask now that you would empower me with your Holy Spirit so that love and mercy will spill over to those around me. Amen


If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful, because he must be true to who he is. 2 Timothy 2:13 (NCV)

I sat across the desk from the young woman who, through her tears, shared her story. He’d cheated on her once, while they were engaged. Got caught red-handed so to speak, but they worked through it. She’d decided she loved him enough to forgive him. She believed his tear-filled confession. Her trust in him slowly returned and they were married.

Now, six years later and with two adorable children at home, he once again came to her for forgiveness. He’d met a woman. They’d slept together. He regretted that decision and wanted to ‘come clean’ and be the dad, husband and lover she deserved. She didn’t know if she could go on this way. She wasn’t sure that she could ever trust him again.

I’ve knelt with a man at the altar (a different story). He’d called and asked to meet at the church. I found him in tears sitting at the altar. Three times in the past year he’d gone home with a woman that wasn’t his wife. Someone he’d picked up at the bar. There wasn’t any love, just lust. No relationship, just a desire on the part of both parties to ‘have a little fling’. Now, he had to come clean. His wife had no knowledge of what was coming. They’d been together for nearly 20 years. Four great kids, a successful business and for all appearances, a good wholesome family.

These were ‘good people.’ They were active in our church. They taught Sunday School and greeted visitors. The man went home to his wife and confessed his sin. They went to counseling and the last I heard were completely restored in their relationship. The marriage of the young woman, I’m sad to say, ended in divorce. Too much damage. Too many wounds. .

I don’t tell these stories as a post against marital infidelity, although I certainly could. These stories, which I imagine are played out a thousand times a day, awakened in me a new understanding of the passionate relationship with have with Jesus.

Being unfaithful to your lover hurts. It hurts your lover. It hurts you. It’s a family breaker. While there are, thankfully, many stories of families that have endured the devastation of infidelity, many aren’t able to overcome the hurt, the distrust, the anger.

We all have affairs in our relationship with Jesus. Times in each of our lives when we make decisions that are directly contrary to what he desires of us. Sometimes they are flippant ‘flings’ that catch us unaware. Sometimes they are well-thought out decisions.

The point is this. Regardless of how many times we disappoint Jesus, he will never say enough. No matter how many times we fail to live for him, he will never say ‘I don’t love you anymore’. He knows we’ll fail him…again. He knows we’ll reject his love. But because of who he is, he can never turn his back on us.

If you truly love someone, you will do whatever you can to keep from hurting that person. If you truly love Jesus you will do whatever you can to keep from hurting him. These life stories I shared beg the question each of us must ask: “How have I had an affair with other lovers (lust, money, desire, fame) and hurt my Jesus?”

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I do love you. I realize that I’ve let you down so many times. I don’t know how you can possibly love me after I’ve done so many things against you. Thank you for your forgiveness and grace. Empower me to live to please you and not myself. Amen.


In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:5

Q: What do you need to do to make Jesus love you more?

A: Nothing. That’s right. Nothing.

The problem is, from a human perspective, love doesn’t work that way in real life. We say we’ll love each other forever. We tell ourselves and our loved ones that nothing can ever change our love. But then real life sets in.

Affairs happen and destroy the intimacy that once protected our trust. Lies happen and shatter our faith. Health issues and financial calamity hits and we lose sight of what love is all about. No one ever walks the aisle with the hope that this union will last a year. ‘Til death do us part’ is the ideal we all hope for.

Love isn’t guaranteed in the parent/child relationship either. Children are abused or asked to leave their homes. They are abandoned or neglected by parents who are so wrapped up in their own lives and needs that they completely overlook the needs of their offspring. It’s unthinkable, but true.

Love dies when we fail to consider the feelings and value of the other person. Love dies when we fail to see ourselves as God sees us. If I see you as the special creation you are because of God’s fingerprints on you, then I’ll not hurt you. I’ll cherish and protect you at all costs, no matter what. If you love me as Christ loves you, then the mistakes that I make will be forgiven.

That’s how Jesus loves us. He loves us with an unconditional love that says no matter what you say, or where you go, or what you do, I love you. We may suffer consequences for our actions, but even then we are loved by the Father through Jesus Christ. We need only to confess our sins to receive forgiveness in order to feel his love in our lives.

Loving others as Christ loves us isn’t easy. In fact, in some situations it’s almost impossible. Sometimes we have to separate ourselves from those that hurt us for our own safety and their own good. But separating ourselves from other people due to abuse doesn’t mean we don’t still go on loving them through the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Loving others doesn’t always mean trusting others.

Love as Jesus loves. Love others based on who you are in Christ Jesus. Love others based on the fact that even though they may have hurt you, in reality they are God’s creation and his desire for them, like you, if for relationship.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I thank you for the unconditional, eternal and merciful love that you have for me. I look back at the path I’ve taken and see so many times when I’ve ignored your love and taken you places and let you see me do things that I never should have done. Still you love me! Empower me with your Spirit to love others in the same way you love me. Not for my sake but for yours. In your name I pray. Amen.


Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out. Proverbs 10:9

He was caught red-handed. There was no way to hide it now. It was in the open. His integrity lay in a shattered heap on the ground. How would he face his family? How would he face the family of the person he killed? What would happen with his faith? Would God act swiftly and with revenge? All his years of waiting, running, fighting for what was right was destroyed in an instant.

He felt anguish, guilt, fear, shame and, interestingly, relief. I’m talking about the story of David and Bathsheba. Here he was, King of Israel and caught in a lovers triangle. He’d slept with another man’s wife and got her pregnant. He had her husband murdered to try to cover up his crime. He ran, but he couldn’t hide.

Before we are too hard on David we need to look at our own lives. Maybe it isn’t adultery and murder that plague us. It could be anger, lust, addictions of any kind, doubt, or envy. We may be able to hide those things for awhile. Some of us get good enough to hide them for years! There are a few that are able to live their entire lives fooling other people. But even if we can fool everyone else, we will still have internal consequences to deal with.

Sociologists and psychologists tell us that many emotional, physical and spiritual issues in a person’s life can be traced to one thing: guilt or unresolved guilt. Guilt is a powerful force that can affect us in every aspect of our lives. We do things to try to cover up that guilt, but those things make matters worse. We grow fearful of what other people may think so we live in fear.  We blame others or try to drown our sorrows in new relationships, drugs and alcohol or some other activity. We run in fear of being found out because we don’t want to suffer the shame or consequences. The things we do to try to hide our ‘secret lives’ only make matters worse and take a devastating toll on our personal lives and relationships.

People who finally ‘come clean’ often express a feeling of relief. They don’t have to hide anymore. They can get the support they need for the healing process and their entire outlook on life changes for the better. Coming clean may mean we have to confess some things publicly, but most importantly it means being honest with God and with ourselves. He is the only one who can heal us of our wounds. Confession of our struggle isn’t a sign of weakness but of strength.

Regardless of what you are struggling with today, Jesus can offer you the healing you need. He doesn’t expect you to clean yourself up first. He won’t be critical when you fall (again and again). Jesus knows the root cause of our actions when no one else does. He isn’t about making us feel guilty; Jesus wants to make us feel clean.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I thank You for knowing the struggle I go through every day. I’m afraid of being caught. I’m losing sleep. I feel completely out of control. I even doubt your existence at times because the pain is so bad. Forgive me for failing so many times. Help me to have the courage to change what I need to change so I can live in integrity. Amen.

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