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Friday, July 10, 2009

After Kicking The Tires ...

After "kicking the tires" of the claims I mentioned a few days ago, what do you think?

1. I am deeply loved of God.
2. I am fully pleasing to God.
3. I am totally accepted by God.

Do you buy into that? Are you skeptical about God's love for you? Do you feel like a failure? Is there a deep and abiding sense within you that you are constantly letting God down and, thus, He is holding you at arms length?

Consider.

The Apostle Paul was a man who made it his passion and calling to kill as many Christian's as possible. Oh, he believed in God. He just didn't buy the "Jesus stuff." He actually thought "Christians" were working contrary to the God of the Old Testament. And so he took it upon himself to stop those propagating this nonsense. And then God interrupted Paul. He stepped in one day, knocked Paul off of his horse as he was on his way to kill more Christ-followers, He blinded him and sent him on into the city to chill a while. And then God gave him the incredible privilege of spreading the gospel of Jesus to the Gentiles (all of the "non-Jews.) God chose Paul against all common sense and all odds.

Later on Paul penned the following words...

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3: 16 - 21)

"Love that surpasses knowledge." Hmm. And yet Paul said he wants us to be able to comprehend how wide, long, high and deep God's love is. Paul understood because he was guilty of murdering God's kids and God loves him anyway. If God loves Paul so completely ... do you really think He doesn't love you?

Paul said he prays that God will strengthen us out of His (God's) glorious riches with power through His Spirit in our inner being. He wants us to be strong and He wants to use is to do good in this world. God has a vast army of angels. God has believers that have stood the test of time. God has been known to speak through a donkey (Numbers 22: 21 - 31.) So if God can use anybody and anything He chooses and He has so much to choose from ... why would He use you? The answer is simple. He is pleased with you. No, you are not pleasing to God because you are so good or have never failed Him. Give me a break. We all know better than that. You are pleasing to God because (and IF) you have trusted His Son as your Savior. You see, it actually was God's will to crush His Son and set you free. Incomprehensible, but true. (Isaiah 53: 10) Your mess ups are all on Jesus. Your "junk" was transferred from your account to the account of Jesus Christ. God purchased you back from sin with the blood of His Son. And since He owns you He can feel any way He wants to about you. And He chooses to be pleased with you. Believe it or not. I Peter 2: 9 - 10 says it rather well. "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." Rather than arguing with God you might consider looking upward and saying "Thank You."

Paul said that God is able to do immeasurably more in us that we could ever imagine to ask Him to do because of His power at work within us. God's power ... at work ... in ... you. You. He accepts you as worthy. I have no idea why. I only know that His Word says He does.

Loved by God. Pleasing to God. Accepted by God. It's true.

Kick the tires as hard as you want. You can't break them. They are paid for. And so are you.

3 comments:

Laura said...

Thanks, Ron. Loved and needed that post.

Anonymous said...

I hesitate responding to your post. I simply would say Good Job, Well Done.

Scientists have been looking for a long time trying to figure out how fast we are traveling. The Earth is spinning at 1000 miles per hour about its axis and moving at 67,000 miles per hour around the Sun (Rounded off). They have never so precisely figured out the speed we travel through the galaxy or the universe. They cannot because they lack the perspective to calculate our speed.

We as Christians have the same dilemma when understanding God’s Love. I heard someone say that they read in an old Jewish book that before God created anything God created Love and Mercy and understood that Love is not truly Love without Mercy. Because we lack God’s true perspective on things we often lack an understanding of this Love and this Mercy. I need to accept it.

God bless you.

neeser said...

Last year you recommended a book to me, and I happened across this excerpt that I have returned to periodically because it, along with what you have written here, is something that I really have to keep in the forefront of my mind. I thought I'd share it:

"The trouble is that most Christians think they're saved by grace but grow by sweat. Most of us believe that when we were saved, God took our slate filled with sin and rebellion and wiped it clean. That's a lie and it comes from the pit of hell. Listen! God took our slate and He broke it in pieces and threw it away. He does not deal with his family by keeping track on a slate of how we are doing."
--Steve Brown, from When Being Good Isn't Good Enough.