Saturday, July 30, 2005

On God's Love

I have been reading Donald Miller’s latest book Searching For God Knows What. It has really got me thinking which is why I read in the first place. A chapter on the story of Jesus deals with many different aspects of His personality and why His story is about relationship and not some sort of formula that we have turned it into.

This got me thinking about God’s love for us and I wondered why some people seem to have so much trouble accepting it. By accepting it I mean not trying to get love and acceptance from everywhere else but being happy and content with what God gives us. That leads me to ask why do I find it easy to accept? I suppose it has something to do with being raised in a loving home and normally being surrounded by people who sincerely love me. I guess if I didn’t have that I may have trouble too. I also think I find it easy because God’s love for me seems obvious when I read the Bible. When I read about Jesus and his character and the way he loved everybody it makes it easier. I love it but find it challenging that Jesus would always be found with the social outcasts, the “non-religious”, the dishonest tax collectors and prostitutes. He didn’t care about what anybody thought He just loves.

In John 4 you’ll find a story about Jesus and a Samaritan woman at a well. This woman had had five husbands and was currently living with another man so her reputation wasn’t very good. And the fact that she was a Samaritan woman and Jesus was a Jewish man also shows the extreme Jesus went to in dealing with people and loving them. In Donald Miller’s book he mentions that Jesus asking this woman for a drink would be the equivalent today of a known evangelical going into a gay bar and asking a man to buy him a beer. That’s my Jesus! That’s the God I serve, the one who loves me unconditionally no matter what, the one who would go into a gay bar and ask a guy to buy him a beer. No matter who I am or what I’ve done I can count on Jesus loving me.

It is stories like these found throughout the Bible that convince me of God’s love. This doesn’t mean that I don’t need love and acceptance from people in my life it just means that I will strive to get my love and acceptance from God rather than people. I wish I could survive on only God’s love. Maybe some would say it’s possible, but I think since the fall of man we are forever destined to look for it elsewhere.

What does striving to get my love and acceptance from God look like? Maybe my wording is wrong because I believe we all have His love and acceptance no matter what. I want to make sure I’m clear about that. No matter what I’ve done or who I am there will never be a time in my life when God doesn’t love me. He is the perfect Father. He’s obviously disappointed when we disobey His commands but like a perfect worldly father He still accepts us and loves us and waits for us to come back to Him in obedience. What I am trying to say is that I try to get my value or identity from God’s love rather than trying to please other people and be accepted by them. This is tough to do and I fail constantly but it is what I have been reminded to strive for!




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