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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Who does God love?

Someone wrote and asked how can you tell if God loves you. That's easy. I'm not a minister - at least not yet - but I can answer that with great assurance. God loves everyone! Period!

For the sake of theological debate, I do understand your line of thinking. We all have moments in our lives when we are aware of the total purity of God. In those moments we wonder if there is any way that a "perfect" God can forgive our disobedience and love us back to righteous living.

Again I can restate with great assurance....Yes He can!

Romans 8:38
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God's love for us is never based on our actions. His forgiveness for those actions may at times be based on our "motive". And that's where we get confused. Let me explain.

Everyone that comes to the Father with an open and broken spirit realizing and accepting that what they have done was wrong - those individuals will received all of God's mercy and all of his forgiveness. There are no qualifying factors. There are no ifs, ands or buts. It is simply God's open arms, smiling face and total love for us that forgives, loves and is completely excited that we have returned home. Hence - the prodigal son story, King David, the third man on the cross and hundreds of Biblical stories of forgiveness.

What hurts us and keeps us confused is that we want to add our "critical" minds and our ability to never forget to the mind of God. That is wrong. We can't do that.

It's true. There are times when God gives people up to "their reprobate mind". But only when he can see their motives and when he knows their heart will never bend to the will of God.

When there is no other motive than complete submission to Christ, when there is no hidden agenda except the knowledge that you have sinned - God Forgives....period!

So don't hold back. Don't slink into the back of the room and think that you are so bad that God will never love you again.

God Loves you.

God will always want you to come home.

God will always forgive a truly repentant heart.

God Loves you.

When I suffer with self doubt or feel like somehow I've let God down, I love to play the song -
OH Love that wilt not let me Go!
God's love does not want to lose you. He wants to keep you close and love you forever.

George Matheson was only a teen when he learn he was going blind. He never gave up and entered Glasgow University with the help of his sisters. No matter how hard the path he pursued his goals until his fiancee devastated him by breaking their engagement and admitting she simply could not be married to a blind man. George never recovered from the pain of that rejection. He consoled himself by remembering that God's love is never limited, never conditional, never withdrawn and never uncertain. On June 6, 1882 he wrote

Oh Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee.
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths it's flow,
May richer, fuller be.

Oh Joy that seekest me through pain,
I can not close my heart to Thee.
I Trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

The beautiful part of this story is that he went on to become a powerful and popular preacher in the Scottish village of Innellan. He was facing low attendance and empty chairs one evening but did his best. A visitor for the large St. Bernard's Church in Edinburgh was in attendance and looking for a pastor. As a result of that sermon, in 1886 he was called to St. Bernard's where he became one of Scotland's favorite preachers.

"Make every occasion a great occasion," Matheson later said. "You can never tell when somebody may be taking your measure for a larger place."

God's love is like a great waterfall. He pours it over us on a daily basis and changes the outcome of our lives.

God loves you,


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