BaseballBatLadyA friend of mine grew up in Japan as a missionary kid. He told me about a girl he knew whose parents had kept a running tally of every penny they had ever spent on her: the cost of food, housing, medical care, clothing – everything.

So any time she wanted something or gave them any trouble, they’d pull out the tally sheet and remind her of how much she had already cost them. “After all we’ve done for you, you should be more grateful!”

(So … am I Bad Father if I admit that doesn’t always sound like such a bad idea? Wait, nope. Strike that. Never mind…)

Sometimes we talk about God’s love in a way that makes people feel like that girl – guilty and ungrateful for not loving God more, obeying Him more faithfully, serving Him better.

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 1 Peter 1:18-19 New Living Translation (NLT)

I love this scripture, but you could totally use these verses as a baseball bat to beat someone over the head with the love of God. “After all God’s done for you – after the priceless ransom He paid for your freedom – why aren’t you more grateful?

I think it’s healthier to think of the love of God this way: God loves you so much, He places such high value on you, His child, that Jesus went to the cross.

Lest I forget Gethsemane, lest I forget Thine agony
Lest I forget Thy love for me . . . lead me to calvary.

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  1. Rob Riggan says:

    Great song Scott and a great reminder of the only motivation God ever intended to bring his beloved children back into relationship with Him – His everlasting, never-ending, sacrificial love. Romans 5:8-10 says it all as far as i can see. “While we were still His enemies…” God bless

  2. Phil Abbott says:

    Good to hear you again. May our Lords’ continued blessing remain upon you as you honor Him through your music.

    Going to surprise you some Saturday night and bring up our worship team to see how you folks lead people into worship.

  3. Jason says:

    Love it, Scott! It’s only by Christ’s love that my heart has been transformed. It’s only by love that my behavior has been transformed.
    Obedience motivated by guilt or fear is definitely still obedience but that form of obedience is secondary when compared to obedience that is a result of a life changed by love.

  4. Roberta Shaw says:

    I can’t fully agree with you about this. We are all wretched sinners, and we SHOULD feel guilty about that!! We should bow before God and thank Him for all He’s done for us. We should be more grateful, and I think you’re being a little flippant about that. Guilt about our sin should weigh heavy on us so that we are motivated to change.

    • Scott Riggan says:

      Thanks for your comment Roberta. I actually agree with your statement, and I don’t think it’s in conflict with my point. All I’m saying is that it’s God’s kindness that leads us to sincere repentance (Romans 2:4), and we fail to communicate the full power of the Gospel if all we focus upon is His wrath and our guilt. No one has ever been inspired to love God because of fear of punishment. Plenty of people have tried to obey out of fear and guilt, but “trying to obey” is not the same as surrendering to and being transformed by the love of God.

  5. Jeremy says:

    Wow! I haven’t heard your version of Lead Me To Calvary before and I am blown away! So beautiful!

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