A Love Like No Other
National Prayer Breakfast – May 6th and 7th – Have You Registered?
Compassion’s Program Cycle
How Learning Drives Continued Improvements to Child Development
The ‘Say No To Censorship’ Rally on Front of London City Hall
Don't Give Up
“Now, Why Did I Make That Decision?”
Three Challenges for our Values
Today's Revelation
BookMark - I Didn’t Survive
Emerging Whole After Deception, Persecution, and Hidden Abuse (BOOK REVIEW)
A Bridge – A Women (HUMOUR)
Reel Review - The Long Game (MOVIE REVIEW)
Meet Baseball Legends in St. Marys on June 15
“Take Me For A Spin”
The Top 20 Christian Music Albums for April 2024
Shine Your Light and Let the Whole World See

Published February 2024

By Melanie Stevenson

It’s not like you’ve imagined. Probably unlike anything you’ve been told, taught, or experienced. Being with Jesus isn’t a prescribed program or a series of have-tos. It’s not a checklist of holy duties or a list of rules to follow. It’s not polishing yourself shiny or hoping you’ve been good enough.

It’s so simple that some find it hard to accept.

Jesus extends his arms, pulls us in, and wraps us in HIS holiness, offering us forgiveness, rest, peace, joy, love—all the things we’ve been striving for but could never manage on our own. His is a put-your-feet-up, cease-striving sort of love that beckons us to just be. Be ourselves in his company. Be still. Be undone. Be free. Be made new.

It’s an I know who-you-are and where-you’ve-been acceptance, an I’ve-seen-it-all and know-you-entirely embrace. It’s full knowledge of all our failings and shortcomings without turning away kind of love.

In the middle of our dark, our confusion, and lost way, Jesus enters and strikes a match. The light and warmth of his loving presence flickers hope.

The Truth-teller, Jesus, explains everything you ever did (John 4:39), no hint of condemnation, only an ever-extended love offer amid the sin and spoil of our lives. It’s the clean-up effort we could never accomplish. A humanly impossible transformation. An eternity enabler.

Maybe that’s why Jesus’ love is hard to receive. It’s so extravagant, so unlike anything we’ve ever imagined or experienced, we think we need to help. We think we need to earn it, achieve it, add something to it. We think we need to work to deserve this reckless love and arms-flung-wide forgiveness.

But the work was done. On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished.” (see John 19:30) We need only to receive this offer of love like no other and be made new, not through our own efforts, but purely through Christ’s love.

Jesus, came for us, died for us, made a way for us. No matter what the year ahead holds—both the breathtaking and the breaking—Christ's arms remain extended. His love offer awaits. One of forgiveness and a fresh start filled with His love, His hope, his peace.

“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:15-16

About the author; Melanie Stevenson
Born in England, Melanie has never lost her love of British tea and gardens. Her family immigrated to Canada when she was five years old and settled in southern Ontario. Years later, she entered the University of Waterloo as an English major and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Growing up, Melanie was passionate about reading, writing, and drawing. She wrote her first novel at age twelve. Since becoming a Christian at age eighteen, she has filled countless journal pages with prayers which became the inspiration behind her devotionals.

One More Tomorrow (September 2019) is Melanie’s debut novel (the first line of which was conceived in an airport terminal) and won Best Romance at the 2020 Word Guild Awards. Her second book, Soul Focus – Trials (November 2019), is a selection of devotionals written over a span of ten years. Melanie was the winner of Best New Canadian Author at the 2020 Word Guild Awards, and received runner up for Best New Manuscript at the 2021 Word Guild Awards.

Click HERE to visit Melanie’s website.