Friday, 22 August 2014

Love/d On A Friday: How Do I Know He Loves Me? Part II - GRACE

I spent quite a few years believing that God didn't love me until I made a decision based on that old song:

Jesus loves me this I know because the Bible tells me so

My decision really was as simple as that.  I thought that all the evidence pointed towards God's hatred of me but because the Bible said God so loved the world He sent His Son to save it, the whole world couldn't exclude anyone including me.

I quickly began to realise God's love for me after that.  I couldn't not.  I found out He does love me because He IS love.  I was drawing near to LOVE Himself.

How do we know God loves us?  Following on from last week  - knowing we are loved when we know we arre forgiven, this week, I wanted to suggest how we can take living in that forgiven-ness even further. 

When you get used to it, it’s alright to think you’re forgiven and righteous.  It’s a lovely feeling to be clean.  To stand in mess and muddle and insanity and think:  “I’m actually clean and free and OK.”

To stand surrounded by voices and know in your heart:  “No!  That’s not true.  I’m whole and complete and free.”

It’s alright to think about grace - the unmerited favour of God and say:  “I’m under blessing”.  God is good so of course in some roundabout way it must be true.

But to seek that blessing, to ask for that favour in every little thing?  That would surely be too selfish and too risky?

But I think we need to respond to God’s favour and ask for it as we go about our days.

It’s a lot easier to try to deserve it.  And to feel we can ask if we have the right motive for wanting it.

But I’m not advocating that.  I’m advocating saying:  He is God.  I am man.  He is the Father.  I am the daughter.  And the reality is I desperately need God to put His kiss on every second of my life.

It was just as I was feeling perhaps I should be asking God for His favour on everything that someone who didn’t know what I’d been thinking said they’d been reading this verse and I came to mind and they wanted to give it to me as it might help me. 

It certainly seemed like a confirmation of what I’d been thinking.  So I started to pray:  “Show me evidence of your favour.”

The first day I went to buy some face cream.  There was an offer on some of the products of ‘buy one get one free’ so I ended up with a pile of things when I got to the till – some in the offer, some not.  I asked the cashier to check the offer before I paid but she didn’t know anything about it and when she put the things through the scanner, I got something free that I didn’t realise was in the offer and the things I thought were in it didn’t come up as free.

She didn’t want to bother to go and check up on it so she just said:  “Oh it’s your lucky day” and gave me 4 free products I don’t think should have been free at all!  It was such an extreme bumper gift from God.

Life’s not always like that but it’s amazing how often it seems to be true that God sets a banquet for me in the presence of my enemies (Psalm 23), how in a difficult situation, looking to God for His favour He does something significant to bless and help me.

I also find looking for His favour, I SEE it.  I see the flowers and how beautiful they are.  I suddenly see attributes in my husband I’ve never been grateful for before.  I see so much that is amazing that I’ve overlooked and it gives me a grateful heart.  It makes me realise that everything comes from God and I am far smaller than I have maybe felt!

So I hope you've been letting it all hang out, breathing easy as you rest in having Jesus’ perfection and in what He has done.  That you're enjoying life as you are, knowing you don’t have to make things perfect to be righteous.  Instead in spite of the messes and imperfection, you are enough in Him. 

And I hope you will begin to ask Him to show you His goodness, to kiss every little thing in your day today.

And I have a feeling you will find you’re not worried about being selfish or deserving because you find instead you’re becoming a far more grateful and generous person.

And you begin to see more and more how you are loved. 

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