Sunday, August 5, 2012

He Makes You Whole

Do you know how much Jesus loves you?

We’ve been told that He loved us so much He died on a cross for us. But that is so huge, so unfathomable, we don't really grasp the love in it.

I want to tell you how much He loves you.

He watched you as you slept last night. He sang songs over you as He absorbed the wonder of you. He was with you as you crawled out of bed. He ached for you as you showered and imagined those conversations you really want to have with your mother-in-law.

He was with you as you ate breakfast. When you yelled at your kids for the third time this morning his hand gently rubbed your back.

On the way to work when your eyes strayed to the guy in the car next to yours, He whispered how much He loves you and how desperate He is to heal you.

When you poured yourself a drink, the secret one that you slip into your coffee or cola, He called you his daughter and spoke words of love to your heart. He aches to free you, to make you whole.

His love is the desperation of a father who sees His child entangled and snared by the lies and pain of a life disconnected from Him. This love drove him to rescue you.

I want you to imagine a child, dirty and abused. Hair snarled and tangled with dirt and lice. Clothes filthy and torn. That is a picture of you before the cross came into your life. Before the ultimate price was paid for you.

Now I want you to picture a child of royalty. Oh, how she glistens. Her eyes sparkle, her clothing is the finest imaginable. She is fresh, rested, peaceful and fully clean. That is a picture of who you are now. You may not see it, but your Father does.

Every curse, every sin, every stain was paid for and washed clean at the cross of Jesus. Every pain you’ve felt, every humiliation, every horrible word you’ve hurled at someone you loved or hated. Every terrible act you’ve committed: the lies, the cheating, the unfaithfulness, the murder you’ve committed in your heart. Every awful thing you’ve said, done or thought—each one has been dealt with. Jesus took it all onto himself. He did this for you.

Every awful thing you do tomorrow, next day or next year or when you’re eighty. It’s all been dealt with.

The anger of God toward your sin went on Jesus. Every bit of God’s anger was extinguished in the person of Jesus. There is no anger left. No disappointment over your choices. Just a longing to free you from the unhealth in your life. The places he doesn’t inhabit. The places that aren’t working any more.

He wants to fill you from the inside, so full of His love that you start seeing and believing the reality of who you are: a child of royalty.

You are a prince or princess in His household. In the Kingdom of God. You fulfill a place in His heart that no other person ever can. He longs for you. There is so much He longs to tell you of His love and His plans for your life. Plans that will excite and delight you.

The Bible is not a list of do’s and don’ts. It is a love letter He wrote to you. In it He tells you that He is love (I John 4:8) and He tells you all about his character (1 Cor. 13). How kind and patient He is. And He has the best sense of humor and longs to laugh with you.

He will never turn you away or turn away from you.
Come to Him all you who are weary and lost and without hope. He longs to give you rest. To show you a new way that is full of life, rest and peace.

Friday, February 17, 2012

We Are Not Our Own

Our lives are not our own.

We hear that over and over in church settings. It tends to go in my left ear and out my right. But our lives truly aren’t our own. We don’t choose when we’re born and we don’t get to decide the day of our departure (unless we violate the principles of life).

We are in the hands of a creator. The Creator. I was feeling distant from God this morning. I get that way if I get sidetracked and stop tuning into Him. As I was trying to find my way back to that sweet place, I said to Him, “You really do love me even when I stop talking or ignore you.”

He responded, “When you’re not doing?”

His point being: You are viewing my love as dependent on what you do, not who you are: My beloved child.

That caught my attention. I want to walk free from performance with a fierceness you can’t imagine. I crave that freedom. So many Christian terms have become bubble-wrapped in a religious mindset. For me anyway. They trip off our lips so easily they’ve lost their meaning and power.

Mercy. Grace. Redemption. Sanctification.

What do those words truly mean?

When we talk about being wrapped in His arms of love, do we really feel wrapped by Him? Do we steal into a place of freedom and love that His presence is supposed to bring?

I do. But I don’t know if many people follow that invitation. Or if they even know what freedom looks like.

I have met him in the still places of my heart. I’ve heard his laughter, felt His arms around me and looked into His eyes.

And I want more. I want to dive into the deep places of God.

That’s His desire for each one of us.

Want to join me?