I have been reading this book on and off for a while. It's the one pictured to the right. I have picked it up on and off over the past few months. And I will probably be reading it over and over for months to come because of the truths that are saturated in this book. It is a must read for anyone. He is simply talking about how to live loved. And he describes how Jesus did that just that throughout the New Testament. It is beautiful and has left me once again, undone. I have picked it up this week after it sat on the shelf for a month or so and it has really helped settle some of the things I was struggling with last week. So I find this to be a good follow-up to all my ranting and raving last week. God is so faithful when we ask for Him to cut through the fog that keeps us from experiencing His presence. Last week, I was in a fog and felt confused, but the fog is lifting, "Praise Jesus!" And I'm thanking God for all the encouragement from you who have read and responded to my blog posts this past week. God has had His fingerprints all over your words of truth and encouragement.
So moving along, here's a section from this book out of a chapter called "Trying to Earn Points with Someone Who is No Longer Keeping Score". This has really just penetrated my heart and I pray that as you take it in, let it begin to take root into your every day life. This is His heart's desire for us and it is my heart's desire for my life to reflect His glory and grace in our lives:
Freedom to grow in him comes when you recognize that his love for you isn't affected by your actions.
Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more...and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. God already loves us as much as an infinite God can possibly love. Our only choice is whether or not to LIVE loved, trusting that his eye is on us and that he can work out in us everything he desires.
That is the challenge of life in God's kingdom. He has done everything to demonstrate his irrefutable love, but he will not make us live there. We can still live less loved, pursuing our own agenda with our own resources and in the process not only destroying ourselves, but hurting others as well.
The choice is yours, and it can't be made once for a lifetime. This choice is made EVERY DAY in every circumstance in which you find yourself.
So back to my own words, here's another concept that I am trying to grasp. Have you ever considered that even the worst circumstances have actually come through His love and grace? In order to have the heart of Jesus, we are to be given the opportunity to respond as Jesus did, even in the worst circumstances. When Jesus was breathing His last breath on the cross, His last words were, "Father, in your hands I commit my spirit". Even in the greatest agony and pain of the cross, He still trusted His Father's love for Him and completely gave Himself over into His Father's hands. And that trust came out of His relationship with His Daddy. What a beautiful picture of relationship.
And to think God wants us to have that kind of relationship with Him too. Amazing!