Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Does God love me?


God loves you right now. He loves you right where you are, in the middle of whatever you are going through right in this very moment. He isn't expecting for you to perform for Him. He wants you to leave the things of this world behind and receive the unending grace that He purchased for you at the cross. His love compelled Him in such a way that He humbled Himself to a point that surpasses our human understanding and knowledge.

John 3:16- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Just try to wrap your mind around this thought. God, the Creator of the world, the sky, the oceans, the plants, animals, stars, galaxies, and all that we can see, became a mere man. He left His place of perfection and bliss in Heaven, he came to the wretched and sin diseased Earth, and He lived among sinful men from all different walks of life. He wept, He laughed, He showed compassion, He extended healing and forgiveness, He raised the dead, He rebuked the proud, He broke bread with the sinners, He walked the dusty streets of Israel, He washed the feet of His disciples. He was God in the flesh. He died the most gruesome, humiliating, cursed death that any criminal could receive. He took the punishment that the world deserved, while they mocked, ridiculed, and beat Him senseless. All this to reconcile you to Himself.... He did this all with you in mind!

So often we are tempted to believe that we need to leave our life of sin and begin to perform good deeds for God in order to gain His acceptance. The truth really is, we need to leave our life of sin by grasping His extended arm given to us in Christ. Not to gain His acceptance or make up for the bad things we have done, but in order to receive His gift of grace that He paid an unthinkable price for us to have. God loves us with a love that surpasses knowledge!

Of the multiple stories I have read from Christians who had a near death experience and tasted a crumb of Heaven's bliss, each and every one of them said that they never wanted to come back to this planet of pain, suffering, and gloom. Some even went through months of depression as they returned to Earth to complete God's task assigned to them. Yet God loved us so much that He recklessly abandoned Heaven like a hero leaping down from a National Guard helicopter to rescue a dying and drowning world helplessly splashing around in an ocean of sin and despair. He tore off His clothes of Honor and Glory and crowned Himself with thorns, He clothed Himself with stripes of torn flesh and blood, He decorated Himself with crucified hands and feet, He took His seat upon the throne of His cross with a label above Him inscribed "This is Jesus: King of the Jews."

If God would go to such an extent to save us and deliver us from a life of doom, destruction, and despair, why do we so often doubt that His love for us wanes when we are facing life's test of struggling in our battle with sin? I think that we all need a reminder on a regular basis of how deep, high, wide, and long is our God's love for us and for those around us. His grace is the only thing sufficient. His love is the only thing that matters in the end. Maturity is developed in our lives as we begin to learn the art of relying on His amazing grace in our struggle against everything that life throws our way. We must dispose of the list of expectations that we believe God is imposing upon us and just receive with open arms His grace that never runs dry.

Your Father is waiting for you to come to Him boldly. He doesn't have a list of mistakes that He is waiting to tell you about. He is ready to forgive, ready to embrace, ready to empower you in all that you are facing right now. Come to Him. Run to Him and tell Him what is on your heart! His desire is for you, He yearns to shower His mercy over you like rain! His love will never fail. Open your heart today and let Him carry your burden and remove your transgressions as far as the east is from the west. Praise God for His love that surpasses knowledge!

Ephesians 3:14-19 "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

Written by: Kyle Bailey, M.Th.

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