"How do we handle human conflict, selfishness, pride? It's a cosmic problem. But it needs a personal solution. Microsoft can't program selfishness out. The president can't veto it. A Pentagon printout can't give specifications for love. It's only when God fills us with his love, when God is willing to get involved in our mess, that we find the power to change." -- pg. 68
I love the verse in Ezekiel where God promised to replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh. In other words, He would change our hard hearts into tender, compassionate ones. Have you ever prayed for God to give you His love for others? For God to give you His eyes for seeing those people who previously got on your nerves or of whom you thought little? It's quite amazing how He can transform your thoughts and feelings towards people if you truly desire Him to do this.
"God's grace is not cheap. A moral God doesn't overlook injustice with a wave of the hand and a shrug of the shoulders. We can't wipe out the stain of our selfishness by our merits. We can't bridge the gap between our polluted selves and a holy, eternal God by our good works. No, penalties must be paid. In Christ they are paid." -- pg. 73 Whether we believe Abraham was ready to offer Isaac or Ishmael, the lesson is clear: "God himself can provide a sacrifice."
And many believe He did just this. We believe Jesus was the Lamb of God who gave Himself for our sins. As John the Baptist said: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
Also see this post where I copied a quote from someone convinced the cross shows God's sacrificial love.
"The cross reveals that God is not only zealous to uphold the moral order of the universe and to do something about wrong action and sin, but He is also zealous to uplift the one who has gone against the moral order and to redeem the sinner. So in the cross the justice and the love of God meet. There we see that God loved justice too well to forgive lightly, and loved man (and woman) too well to be indifferent." -- pg. 74
So God did not excuse sin as no big deal. It hurts Him. It hurts us. It hurts others. But God did not leave us alone to die in our sin. He loved too much and made a way to redeem us - wow!
In a chapter speaking of people with questionable practices talking to people about Christ, the author writes: "It seems that God used these foolish people not because of their foolishness, but because they loved in spite of their imperfections. They reached out in spite of their faults. They didn't wait until they had it all together before they dared to care. Their love was greater than their pride. God honored this." -- pg. 93
This gives me hope. We don't have to have it "all together" before God is able to use us. He can use us despite our imperfections. Yes, He is that good.
quotes from Daughters of Islam by Miriam Adeney