When they came to Jesus, they earnestly pleaded with Jesus. "He deserves to have you do this for him," they said. "He loves our people and he built our synagogue for us." Luke 7:4-5
I have a dear friend who has been very generous to me. I once told him that I didn’t “deserve” his generosity, support, and love. He responded by saying that he didn’t deserve to have toes, but he had them. His point? Not to get caught up in trying to earn or deserve love from God or others. It’s something that we just have, in the same way that the sun just shines. It’s warmth and light are simply there for us to enjoy.
The Roman centurion’s friends come to Jesus on his behalf. He has been so kind to his Jewish neighbors that he built their house of worship, despite the fact that they are subjects of the powerful Roman Empire. Certainly this merits a visit from the rabbi. Yet the centurion remains at home, relying on his friends to plead his case.
Our feelings of unworthiness can leave us feeling trapped and cut off from God. How might you step into the light and embrace God’s love today regardless of what you think you deserve? Chad Senuta
Above is an excerpt from my "d365" devotional app. This devotional hit me really hard. I know I am a flawed person, who has done things in my past that I am not proud of. Even though I have prayed to God and asked for forgiveness, I can not always seem to let those sins go. I am constantly thinking and saying how underserving I am when it comes to how well the people I care about most, love me. I always add into my prayers how undeserving I am of how much God has blessed me. But here's the thing -- I am deserving. You are deserving. Everyone is deserving of love, grace, goodness, and mercy, no matter where in your life you have been.
Jesus, the absolute perfect man, the son of God, was sent to this corrupt and flawed Earth to set an example for us as Christians to live our lives in the correct way. God gave His son as a living sacrifice, and Jesus willing played the part, showing an act of humility that we should also aim to achieve. The song "Why" by Nichole Nordeman, gives a pretty good description from three different people's views of Jesus' crucifixion:
So I said, 'Daddy, why are they screaming?
Why are the faces of some of them beaming?
Why is He dressed in that bright purple robe?
I bet that crown hurts Him more than He shows.
Daddy please, can't you do something?
He looks as though He's gonna cry.
You said He was stronger than all of those guys;
Daddy, please tell me why.
Why does everyone want Him to die?'
And He said, 'Father, why are they screaming?
Why are the faces of some of them beaming?
Why are they casting their lots for my robe?
This crown of thorns hurts me more than it shows.
Father please, can't you do something?
I know that You must hear my cry.
I thought I could handle a cross of this size.
Father, remind me why.
Why does everyone want me to die?
Oh, when will I understand why?'
My precious son, I hear them screaming.
And I'm watching the face of the enemy beaming.
But soon I will clothe you in robes of my own.
Jesus, this hurts me much more than you know,
but this dark hour, I must do nothing,
though I've heard your unbearable cry.
The power in your blood destroys all of the lies;
soon you'll see past their unmerciful eyes.
Look, there below, see the child
trembling by her father's side.
Now I can tell you why... she is why you must die.
I don't know about you, but I can not think of many worldly people that would go through that much pain and suffering for a population that at the time, did not deserve it. But because Jesus laid down His life for us, went through all of the verbal and physical abuse, He made us deserving. He washed our sins white as snow. He came so we would be set free from the bondage of our sin. God is the primary example of the phrase "forgive and forget." Once He forgives, it is as if the sin never happened. We should not take this lightly, but constantly be thankful and humbled that because of His suffering, we can now claim the title of "deserving."
Jesus' death and God's sacrifice paid the price on our behalf. The Father and The Son loved us so much that they took on the weight of all the world's sin, whether you are a liar, cheater, stealer, adulterer, abuser, drug addict, the list goes on and on, You are forgiven. You are deserving. And when Jesus was hanging on the cross, He thought of you.
True love, worldly or heavenly, is given freely. Our job on the receiving end is to recognize this love, and not take it for granted. We should accept it with open arms and be thankful for it, realizing how truly blessed we are. Because of Jesus, we can say we are deserving.
So, next time someone decides to do something nice for you, accept it, appreciate it, be thankful God has given you people to bless you with good things. Be thankful for God's love and mercy, and don't feel bad about the blessings He pours out on you daily. He loves you, and His perfect love makes you deserving.