Can God Get Glory from My Life?
by Dominique Henderson
Misunderstanding His Love for Mankind
This has to be my greatest struggle to date in my Christian life. When I was able to comprehend that God’s love for me allowed him to give his only and his best for me so that I could be in relationship with him (see John 3:16) I really turned a corner in my walk. When we do not
understand it causes us to have many problems. In my case, this manifested itself in my love for myself and my love for people. Well you might say aren’t those related? Yes, they are but they are definitely not the same. So let’s talk about that relationship and contrast how they are
different. In loving myself but not comprehending God’s love for me, I often found myself trying to give away what I didn’t have. God’s love is an unconditional (agape) love for us. That is why he was able to give his only and his best. Jesus in turn repeated that model by offering up
himself as a living sacrifice on the cross. What I was always doing though was giving away conditional love. The love I gave was love based on what was done for or to me—not regardless of what was done like God. However, as I sought after God more, I realized that in my most
depraved state God still loved me (see Romans 5:8). He still saw what I could be instead of what I was. He saw what I could be doing instead of what I was actually doing. He saw me through his eyes and not my own eyes. He was able to do that because he loves me
unconditionally and that love is what drew me to him. It took me a while to get this because I had been conditioned my whole life to achieve and accomplish things so that people would value me. Therefore, 99% of my relationships were works-based. But relationship with God is
not works based (see Ephesians 2:8-10). There was not enough that I could do in order to earn his love. It was all through his multitude of grace toward me. This element of knowledge had to take place first before I was able to begin to love correctly. This is why love for myself and
love for others are related because you have to accept the former before you can do the latter. Specifically, you have to accept the way that God loves you before you can love anyone else. But they are different in that one takes place inside of you and the other takes place outside of
you (specifically through actions.) I spent a lot of my life never hearing the words “I love you” from my parents. And I would of course be around other friends who exchanged those three words regularly with their family, but I was never around enough to see if that was truly the case.
What I do know of my parents (especially my dad) is that their love for their children was always demonstrative. Is that to say that you never need to tell someone that you love them? No, not at all. However, to this day I know that my father loves me because of what he did not what
he said. This is my main and only point with love for people. The bible clearly shows us that love (for others) is an action word. In Romans 5:8, Christ died. In John 3:16, God gave. We should use these passages as models on how to love others. The model that God and his only
Son laid before us was to love humanity by dying and giving. Jesus taught that no greater love than this [meaning what he was about to do in dying] that one lay down his life for a friend (see John 15:13). So how are you living? How should we all be living that name the name of
Christ? We should live in the model that our Lord and Savior has shown us: with a love for the word, love for our mission and love for mankind.
Lord help me to have love for your word, my mission and mankind as you did. You have loved me unconditionally by giving your life help me to show love to others as I live a life pleasing to you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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