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I am not loved because I am perfect. I am loved because I am not perfect. It is my imperfection that makes it possible for me to be loved.

The sole purpose of Righteousness is to be placed in a position where love unhindered can be both given and received. Righteousness is the means, not simply the end goal. My righteousness no longer comes from my being and doing that which is perfect (for it cannot guarantee love) my righteousness comes to me in love, from Christ, because I am imperfect. This is a new love(!); we love because he first loved us. This is a new love; one that is safe, and does not allow my imperfections to cause me to fall out of love, for it is these very imperfections that allow me to be made whole by a righteousness not my own, in order that I my be the recipient and also the giver of a true, pure, and honest love. Perfect love, that casts out all fear. This love is now out of my hands, forever. What peace! Sin is missing the mark. My sins are not my conscious slaps in the face of God with the intention of hurting him. My sins are missing the mark of what is best what makes me whole. My sins are the actions I take that give evidence of how broken and hurt I am. My sins are my desperate search to numb pain, fill emptiness, and feel whole and fail. My sins are my imperfections, not what makes righteousness impossible, or what keeps the aching hope of love at bay. No, if I were perfect, I would not need a righteousness not my own. And if I did not need a righteousness not my own, I would never experience a Love that says I want you for you, not what you can do for me. Again, my constant state of missing the mark is what triggers the outpour of compassion on me from a Father who loves me as a child Again, my imperfections ALLOW his righteousness to work itself out in me, which places me in the position we all hunger and hope for: to stand in the middle of a saturating love that does not rely on me. At last, something I cannot ruin. I cannot ruin this. Love, forever.

--Lauren Dubinsky

Like Solomons lover, God is going up and down the streets of the city, traveling the most obscure paths and untamed wilderness, walking on unnamed roads in the most desolate of places, searching for the one he loves-and that one is you and me and every human being who has ever walked this earth, has taken a breath, and has longed for love.
--Erwin McManus Soul Cravings

Romans 5

All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didnt, and doesnt, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When its sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and thats the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into lifea life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

The Message

Romans 6 So, since were out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since were free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and its your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives youve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God youve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!

The Message

Galatians 5

My brothers and sisters, you were chosen to be free. But dont use your freedom as an excuse to live in sin. Instead, serve one another in love.14 The whole law can be found in a single command. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. (Leviticus 19:18)

You must not keep on biting each other. You must not keep eating each other up. Watch out! You might destroy each other.

The Message