The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, February 14, 2023, was written by Michael Albanese of New York.
1 Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits — 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1-5 NIV
LOVE BRINGS FREEDOM
I am a singer and songwriter and have written and performed many songs over the years. I wrote my most recent song for my wife, and it opens with the lyric, “When you told me that you loved me, you set my heart free.” I have always said that I was not fully myself until I met the woman who was to become my wife. Loving her set me free from the longing and loneliness I had felt for years.
Now I realized that this is also true about my relationship with God. I tend to be keenly aware of my failures and feeling that I am somehow not worthy of love. But God’s love is unconditional and complete. God knows all my failures, and God loves me truly and completely in spite of myself. This knowledge has set me free to love and to be loved in Christ. I am no longer focused on my failures but on the redeeming power of God’s love for all. My love for my wife has helped me understand God’s love for us. And love has given me the freedom to live fully in the grace of God. God’s desire for us is to live abundantly joyful lives.
God love us. God’s love for us is unconditional, there’s no way we could ever earn it, it is freely given to us by our gracious creator. I invite you to reread Michael’s reflection and know that you are loved by God.
Holy and loving God, free us to live as your beloved children, eager to do your will. Amen.
- Michael Albanese