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The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, November 14, 2022, comes to us from Donna Y. Gurr of Oregon.

16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

John 3:16-18NRSV



The billboard near the highway displayed a photograph of a young Muslim woman with a head covering. The caption read, “We are fully inclusive.” I felt a tinge of offense at the community college’s ad. Why the push to accept Islam? Then, Jesus spoke to my heart, saying, “I am fully inclusive.” The contrast between the words of Jesus and my reaction to the billboard left me stunned. I felt his sadness at my failure to represent him; his words had exposed my bigotry.

Jesus is unbiases; he unreservedly welcomes every human begin regardless of religion or background. But like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, I was demanding that people meet certain criteria in order for God to receive them and love them. God deeply loves and values every person, and the Son of God paid the ultimate price for all people. God invites us to come as we are. In the embrace of God’s extravagant love and acceptance there is redemption, forgiveness, and peace. This is the good news for all!



The gift of salvation is freely given, it is not and cannot be earned. Truthfully, none of us is worthy of the gift of salvation; God demonstrates unmerited grace by offering us salvation. With that said, it is not our job to determine who is or who is not worthy to receive the gift of salvation. It is our job to offer unrestricted access and invitation to the God who freely gives salvation. John 3:16 reminds us why God has extended grace to us: “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” God loves us all and does not want any of us to perish. God sends Jesus, wrapped in flesh and blood, to bridge the chasm of sin to repair and restore relationship with us. May today offer you the opportunity to see the love of God in those you meet.

--Pastor Anthony


Loving God, thank you for accepting us as we are. Reveal any prejudice within us so we can repent and align our hearts and attitudes with yours. Amen.

-- Donna Y. Gurr

Prayer Focus:

To value each person I meet.

Thought for the day:

Jesus sees everyone through the eyes of lavish love.

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