Experience and Expression

Baby Abram

Loved unconditionally

Our third grandchild, Abram, is 8 months old.  When you smile at him, he smiles back.  He’s experienced unconditional love since birth and he believes the world loves him.  And if you ask me, you’d be stupid not to.

One day, not long from now, he’ll learn that the world doesn’t love him.  He’ll learn that unconditional love is rare.  Along with everyone else, he’ll develop strategies for earning love. But right now, everyone loves him.  And I like it that way.

One day all the love that’s been poured into him will come out.  He’ll lavish his own children with the love he received.  He’ll sacrifice himself for them like his parents are sacrificing themselves for him.

The Christian life begins with taking in God’s love.  In order to experience God’s love one must believe in it and receive it like baby Abram receives his mother’s love.  Payment is excluded.  Reception is everything.

How can you know God’s love?  Look to Jesus, the physical expression of God’s love for all mankind.

Every strategy you adopt to earn God’s unconditional love; perverts love, insult God, and belittles Jesus.  Everyone earning God’s love through religion, morality, or obedience is actually blocking it.

Christian obedience is loving response to God’s love.  Without love every action is irrelevant, irritating, and meaningless.

Bradley Moore designed a diagram that explains the two sides of love (experiencing and expressing).  He’s applying these ideas to leadership and work.  I think they are universally applicable to Christian living.  Take a moment to look over his diagram.  You’ll find yourself in one of the quadrants.

Where do you fit into the diagram?  What strategies do people adopt to earn God’s love?  How might you add to Bradley’s diagram?

Grace Freak

Dan Rockwell

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Explore posts in the same categories: Faith, Grace, Love, Uncategorized


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8 Comments on “Experience and Expression”

  1. Jared Young Says:

    Well Dan, I fluctuate between box 1 & 2. That’s a good diagram to have pasted on your bathroom mirror or something. Very good post today. This weekend I had a hard time with this area of expressing love in the midst of a trying time. And it is still hard, but I have to come back to the basics of who God is and where He has me in life and what I can learn from the circumstances I find myself in (or rather what lets me get into).
    Something I said to my wife the other day that she brought up to me recently. “God already knew about it, He’s just letting us find out about it today.” As I read that I am humbled by His grace and His love for us. I think we understate/underestimate the magnitude of what Christ did on the cross for us, and how loving that truly was. Profound stuff.

    • Dan Rockwell Says:


      You mean to say that NTM missionaries don’t always have it all together? 😉 Love you comments. I really love it when someone reminds me of something I said in the past! Actually I don’t like it all. They usually remind me when I’m not doing what I said.

      Your comments encourage me.



      • Jared Young Says:

        Encouragement seems to be a two way street. I notice this when Paul writes to certain churches when he has been encouraged, he returns the encouragement with such class and humility. Thanks Dan, for keeping this two-way street open as you write these morsels of truth.

  2. landsway Says:

    The Bible says we loved Him because He first loved us. I did a series recently on Love. I believe Godly love is rarely displayed by us humans; but is the absolute key, along with grace, to unlocking the mysteries of God.

    I love the things you say.

  3. grindael Says:

    Excellent Points,
    I’m so glad I hooked up with you on Facebook, it is really great to see stuff like this in my inbox and get a boost of joy at the beginning of the day. So, since I can’t seem to stay in the right box all the time, I got work to do! Thanks for the tools to help.

    May Our Lord continue to bless you,

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