Sunday, August 7, 2011

Power Thought #2

God loves me unconditionally!
[Unlabeled quotes are taken from the book Power Thoughts, by Joyce Meyer.]

There is a truth we need to grasp in this chapter.  We need to "get" that there were no conditions we needed to meet before God loved us...HE MET THE CONDITIONS.  He sent His Son to bear the wrath that we deserved and to clothe us in His righteousness.  It is IN CHRIST that we are made new creations (2 Cor. 5:17).  It was before the foundation of the world that God chose us, predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself and made us accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:3-6).  If we are in Christ, we HAVE His love because He has chosen to GIVE it...we can rest in faith right there, and enjoy the love of our Father.  Let it sink deep into our bones!  

He's given us right standing with Him, but the problem is we know we still sin against Him and feel our "wrongness."  So let's talk about that for a minute. 

I have three children...I love them all very much and they are all secure in that love though they don't always "feel" secure.  Occasionally when they do wrong, instead of coming to me, telling me about it and asking me to forgive them (which I stand ready to do), they may start writing me little love notes and excessively offering to help with the jobs around the house, all the while acting insecurely.  I've been guilty of the same sort of thing in relationship with God: times when I have pridefully attempted to sweep my sins under the proverbial rug (ignore them, just let "enough time pass", or justify myself in some way, as if that solves anything with a holy, omniscient God) and just work harder to earn His favor.  And I bet I'm not alone.  So when I notice that one of my kids is insecure (or I note it in myself), I've learned to turn to a verse like Proverbs 28:13 that reminds us "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."  

There is a dangerous way to view "unconditional love" and I want to mention it just is to think somehow that since God loves us unconditionally, it doesn't matter what we do.  Paul warned against this presumption in Romans 6.  It is NOT an invitation to licentious living.  But if we are truly in Christ, we can rest assured that God does love us and will continue to complete the good work He has begun in us.  Even when we mess up.  Proverbs 3:12 tells us "For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights."  Hebrews 12 quotes this proverb and uses it to argue that if we are chastened by the Lord, He is dealing with us as is an evidence of His love. 

My love for my children doesn't vanish every time they do wrong...but they don't always feel secure because sin blinds and deceives. God's love for us doesn't vanish every time we do wrong fact, His love is perfect and He assures us of it.  Listen to 1 John 3:1 which says: "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!"  Do we trust and believe that?  Or are we listening the the enemy?  Our right standing is based in Christ, not our own performance. Let's have our actions flow from that confidence! 

Those who believe, those who are IN CHRIST, those who God foreknew and predestined to be conformed to the image of His son (Rom 8:29), can and should trust God's love and walk securely in it.  "The more we experience God's love, the more we desire to do what pleases Him."  So go ahead and write Him love notes and offer to help around His house, but do these things and all that you do in response to His love, not in an attempt to earn it.  There is a big difference between those two approaches...with the first, our attention is fixed on the love of the Father and there is great joy and security; with the second we tend to be self-focused and striving for joy but not experiencing it because we're too busy feeling condemned and unworthy. 

If we're feeling insecure, we need to believe 1 John 1:9 that tells us "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Confess and forsake your sins and find mercy BECAUSE HE ALREADY LOVES YOU!
This week, renew your mind with thoughts like:
     * "I am chosen in Christ, and in Him I am blameless before God."
     * "I am a new creation in Christ."
     * "God loves me...and I am made right with Him through faith in Jesus."

"When you awake in the morning, lie in bed for a few minutes and thank God because He loves you and will be with you all day, in everything you do."  

Here are some more relevant verses to chew on:
2 Cor. 5:17, 21
Eph. 1:3-15
Ezek. 11:19-21
Eph. 2:10
Deut. 7:6-8
Acts 13:48
Rom. 8:28-30
1 Peter 2:9-10
Rom. 8:1
1 Cor. 1:26-31
I'll leave you with this prayer by the Apostle Paul:
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height —  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."  -- Eph 3:14-19

1 comment:

  1. He loves me, oh how He loves me! What a beautiful truth you shared today. Many blessings!