This is a repost of something I posted 4 years ago, but while reading it I see very clearly that the power behind the understanding is just as relevant.
I have been reading Christian Athiest, by Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church.tv. The reading has been slow for me, but I think that is purposeful. There are so many good nuggets of thinking and meditating material in it, that to read it faster might be more bad than good. The most recent chapter that I read talked about people who believe in God, but also believe that He could never love them, for one reason or another. Maybe it’s because of the shame that we carry about our past sins before becoming Christians. Maybe it is because we feel that we are so insignificant. So many times, we attribute human characteristics to God. Think about your childhood and your relationships with your parents, or whatever caregiver you had. Now, think about how you see, view, and approach God. I remember growing up, and even as a teenager, quietly knocking on my dad’s door when I wanted to ask him something. I didn’t want to bother him because he was a busy man. Even today, I sometimes find myself quietly knocking on God’s door, even though we are told to approach Him with courage and boldness. No matter how good or bad your relationship with your parents, I can promise you that there are some aspects of them that have been transferred to how you interact with God. Only the ministry of the Holy Spirit can free us of those chains.
I love the way God can cause things to interact, though, because in our Wednesday Bible Studies we have been doing Forgotten God, by Frances Chan. Last night’s study dealt with how much God desires us to have a deeply personal and intimate relationship with Him, one that goes further than us calling Him by his formal name. he wants a relationship with us that involves us knowing Him the way a child knows his or her loving father, can calling Him as such. It’s the Holy Spirit that calls out through us to Him as Abba, or Daddy. As we were talking about all of this last night, and how the Holy Spirit shows us in our lives and ministers to us through every instance to show us how much God loves us, I had a hard time holding back tears. To think that God, Elohim, Yahweh, this same God who is above all, yet IN all…that He loves me renders me speechless. And yes, I have had real issues in believing the depth of God’s love for me in the past, because I couldn’t see how God could love someone who sinned as deeply as I have in the past, and sometimes still today. Why would I ever be worthy of God’s love? How could I ever be worthy?
And Craig Groeschel and Frances Chan both talk about how we think that we can earn God’s good graces by going cold turkey from our sin for a time, then thinking that we can approach God for a relationship after we have been “clean” for a particular amount of time. But see, that doesn’t work, because we always fall right back into that sin or more sin. Furthermore, our sin is not the point. God does not focus on our sin. He focuses on US. His love is so much greater than wanting to condemn us for every wrong thing that we do in life. His love is so much stronger than the weakness we exude in our times of falling away.
The story of the prodigal son really moves me like nothing else as I get older. The image of the father running out to meet the wayward son as he returns to ask if he can merely be a slave- how is that not us at some point? We sin and come back to God as a last resort, expecting God to treat us with contempt and scorn, to shackle us and make us to menial labor around His house. Yet when we lift our heads, tears staining out face, our shame causing our shoulders to buckle and lean; we look up and see not merely God, but ABBA running as fast as He can to meet us and lift us up! We feel His arms around us, squeezing us tightly and spinning us around over and over again. This is the love of our Daddy! Just typing this gives me goose bumps. We can never truly comprehend the love of God, but He just asks us to accept it and believe in it!
There is something incredibly freeing about accepting God’s love. It frees us from the weight of expectation and the fear of failure. How many of us would have better lives if we weren’t consumed by wanting to make our parent’s proud? The fear of failing people drives us to do the most insane things, which are often to our detriment. And God presents His love to us in the form of Christ, who died for us while we were yet sinners. Do you understand the magnitude of these words? While we were yet sinners, while we ARE yet sinners, Christ died back them for each and every instance of sin and shame in our lives. Christ died way back then so that we would be covered for the rest of our lives. The Bible says that Love covers a multitude of sins. Guess what, that love is spelled out clearly in the blood of Christ. Every drop cleansed every sin, every detracting thought of doubt and self- image. Everything that Satan and our flesh would use to pull us away from HIM, Christ tethered Himself to us, refusing to let us go! He loves us! He loves us! He LOVES US!!!
So, what does this mean? It simply means that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. It doesn’t matter what was in your past. Embrace the fact that God can make you a new creation. Embrace the fact that he WANTS to make you a new creation. This life- changing message of love via the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the sacrifice of Christ has to be internalized and accepted as true within us. Our minds can not comprehend this, but it will bear such powerful witness in our hearts if we allow it to sink in. So I would like to ask anyone who reads this blog today to do 2 things. I normally don’t do this, but I just feel lead.
- Share this blog posting with at least one person. If you feel lead to do more, bless you. It’s not about getting my reader counts up. It’s about getting the truth out. The world would have us believe that we are insignificant, unimportant, nothing special, because of one reason or another. God is screaming from the heavens that we are SIGNIFICANT and WORTH EVERYTHING! This is the truth that we need to be shouting as well.
- Stop and pray that God’s love becomes real in your life, and the lives of those whom you share this with. Pray for a relationship that goes beyond formalities. Pray for a relationship where you develop your own intimate time with Abba. Even if it ends with you calling God Provider, Healer, etc, this needs to be a personal relationship. As big as God is, He desperately wants to know everything about you and become your ALL.
Thank you for reading today. I’m so excited about God’s love, and I’m so excited about what He will do in our lives as we live in His love.
The reason that I’m reposting this now is simply because in this season, people need to know that it’s all about God’s love for us. His great love caused Him to send His Son from heaven to Earth. Jesus’ love caused Him to leave perfection for a fallen world. His love caused him to live as we live, to become one of us. It is an important footnote in the greatest love story ever told.
So share and spread the love today.