Grace For The Journey
Today’s blog is based on the truth of 1 John 4:7-8—“God is love.”
Let me ask you: are you in love with Love? Before you quickly respond “YES,” like every good Christian would do, consider this challenge from John Piper, in his book God Is The Gospel:
“The critical question for our generation – and for every generation – is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”
If your answer to Pastor Piper’s question about being satisfied with a heaven where there is no Jesus is “Yes,” then your answer to my question is NO.
Is there something you have in this life that, if it was lost or taken away, your life would be ruined . . . over . . . driven into the ashes of defeat?
- Is it your job?
- Your spouse or children?
- Your retirement fund?
- Your health?
- Your status in your community?
If there is such an ultimate thing, and you are in love with it more than you are with the One who so graciously gave it to you, you have created an idol for yourself that is every bit as abhorrent as the golden calf fashioned by Israel so many years ago.
Please give this some thought:
If you did not have Jesus, how different would your life be today?
God cares about us SO much more than we care about Him!
We chase after worldly success; God drives us toward holiness and godliness. We pursue the temporary pleasures of this world; God drives us toward the eternal pleasures of the new heaven and earth. God loves us with a love we simply cannot fathom, “an everlasting love,” as He proclaims in Jeremiah 31:3.
To be in love with Love is to pursue Christ, regardless of the cost or circumstance.
That doesn’t mean you try harder to love Him
Make bigger and bolder promises to follow through.
If loving Him is an obligation, your love for Him is more about you than it is about Him.
Rather than loving out of obligation, we are to love out of overflow
– The overflow of our relationship to Jesus.
This is the love that Love desires.
Now, if your response to these questions leads you to a place where you feel far from God and His love, do not despair; in fact, cheer up! He hasn’t moved away from you; you moved away from Him! All you need to do is start moving back toward Him.
The Bible says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Jesus paints a glorious picture of the steadfast love He has toward us in the story of the return of the Prodigal, plodding fearfully toward home, no doubt still stinking from his time in the hog pens, wondering how his Father, whom he had insulted so grievously, would react to the sight of him in his abject failure and filth. The Bible tells us in Luke 15:29, “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” That is how much you are loved!
You cannot wander your way out of His love.
You cannot drift your way out of His love.
You cannot sin your way out of His love.
Because He is Love and you are His, you are loved – eternally and everlastingly.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”