Some love you because you’re you. God loves you because He is He.
You are not on an audition for affection. He loves you because He is perfect in His ability to love. Even when you are separated from Him by sin or unbelief, He loves you. Even when you feel unlovable, He loves you. It depends entirely on Him being perfect at being Himself. And He is.
Accept that love. Don’t let it wash around you; let it wash upon you and cleanse you. Take down whatever ‘umbrella’ has shielded you from that love and let it wash upon you in an endless downpour.
If you did something last week that you are ashamed of, feel conviction and condemnation about it. Simply say, ‘I repent’. Turn it over to the Lord, tell Him about it, and then do not do it anymore. What is the purpose of these trials and temptations that sometimes cause you to fail? It is not to show you that you are not a true Christian. Rather, it is to show you that your conscience is tender, and you are very near to God. The Lord is trying to teach you that last lesson, so that you rid yourself of self-trust.
AW Tozer– The Crucified Life
It’s a scary fact that God will allow us into situations that stretch our physical, emotional and spiritual selves. We may fail physically and emotionally because God stretches us too far on purpose, to either teach us something or drive us closer to Him. So learn and draw near.
We may fail spiritually because we’ve room to grow. God will never make you sin, but He always allows you to. It’s meant never for (the Christian’s) condemnation, but instead to remind us that we are human and ever reliant on his power and grace unto forgiveness and transformation. It’s also meant as an encouragement, I think. For, when something pricks guilt today that didn’t prick yesterday, it’s a sign that I’m closer to Him today, and my conscience is softer in this area than it was then.
Our fallen nature sees all of the things that God calls us to lay down as the good things that He prefers we would not have. He sees them as that which weigh us down and prevent the overflowing life He has called us to.
Our human nature sees pain and pressure in the crucible. He sees us brought into the purity for which we were created.
Our fallen nature knows only the ‘best’ of what this world has to offer. He knows the unimaginable gain that comes from citizenship in heaven.
I’ll be posting videos from our latest video sermon series– a chronological, verse-by-verse study of the gospels and the life of Jesus. I hope they bless you as much as I am blessed through preparation and the disciplined time with the Lord that such preparation brings.
Months into the series, a few things that I see as continual and repeated themes:
- It’s all about Jesus. Yes, all of it.
- Throw away your religion and walk in relationship.
- Discipleship means forsaking all for Him.
- We’re all called as disciples. You do the math.
Jesus didn’t just die to save you from Hell. He died to bring you into perfect unity with Himself– to make you one with Him. So, perfection is something to be pursued (Philippians 3:12), but not by your own power (Philippians 2:13). It is the natural result of that unity– of Christ alive in you, living through you (Galatians 2:20).
So, ‘living the Christian life’, is not a matter of you working against a predefined standard of what is considered Christian. It is literally Christ’s life, lived by Christ, through your faithful submission and cooperation.
Go and let Him live.
A living dog is better than a dead lion’ as it is said in the Old Testament. And so it is better to have a little church that is real than a big church that is artificial. So it is better to have a simple religion that is real than to have a great, ornate ceremony that is hollow and empty.
The Crucified Life