The past three November messages on
Gratitude are called “prophetic” messages
because they tell us what to do, i.e.,
“Be grateful!” Another type of biblical
messages is called “kerygmatic” because
instead they focus on what God does for us.
I prefer such “kerygmatic” messages because “prophetic”
messages are weak in their assumption that the people
they address are healed, healthy and able to do things.

But although through the gospel or cultural conditioning we can
experience some health and perform, truth is that we are broken
individuals and systems that remain unable to fully perform
“should’s” and “don’ts” from the right place. We remain
individuals and systems who repeatedly need hearing the only
all-powerful message there is – i.e., the good news of the Gospel,
what God is doing for us.


Maybe you have experienced some level of frustration at trying to
force yourself to be grateful while having a sense that you are not
able to do it. This is where the Gospel and “kerygmatic” messages
that present the Gospel remain the mainstay of the Christian
message and of the Church: Jesus loving us on the cross, in pain,
still on this earth, suffering as we do. This alone is the “Fount of
Blessings” from which healing and salvation are found.
Jesus Loves You Just As You Are Now.


The problem is not with Jesus not loving us as we are.
The big problem is that we refuse to love ourselves the way Jesus
loves us.

Our love for ourselves is usually tainted by the good ideals
inculcated into us. We have decided that decent theology is to
maintain an accounting system of check and balance between
“what God has done for us“ and the demands of “what because
of this, we should do.” But such is not God’s Gospel. That way of
conceiving “the gospel” is in fact a system of meritorious legalism
outside of the Gospel of what God does for us, and it prevents us
from experiencing the power of the only Gospel there is: God’s
unconditional acceptance of us in Christ


Please eliminate the only barrier that there is to be experiencing
the love of Jesus now. Dare to leave the “do’s” and the “should’s”
you hold in your head and take a moment to repeat and savor
Jesus’s words to you in the first person:
“I Love Myself Just As I Am Now.”

The love of Jesus, dear One, is the only Gospel
that can save and heal you where it’s needed.

With love,
Pastor Sam