You Need To Be Okay With That

Jeff grace, Love

Last night I inserted a quote into the Wednesday night message that obviously resonated with the flock as much as it did with me when I first read it.  I came home to find emails from those present for the Wednesday message who desired a copy of the quote.  Brennan Manning’s words below have as their focus the reality that God knows everything about us and, yet, He does not flee in horrified rejection.  The holy, righteous, perfect and Almighty Creator has perfect understanding about what characterizes His own children but, even with all that is lacking in us, He moves toward us…for us…in favor of us with all of His omnipotent love.  You and I need to be okay with the statement of Jesus Christ in John 10:14 when He says those sometimes-comforting, sometimes-alarming words, “I know My own…”

Brennan Manning wrote, “The god of so many Christians I meet is a god who is too small for me. Because he is not the God of the Word, he is not the God revealed by it in Jesus Christ who this moment comes right to your seat and says, “I have a word for you. I know your whole life story. I know every skeleton in your closet. I know every moment of sin, shame, dishonesty and degraded love that has darkened your past. Right now I know your shallow faith, your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship. And my word is this: I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are, and not as you should be. Because you’re never {in this life} going to be as you should be.”

Does your mind allow for you to rest in what Mr. Manning is conveying?  Is your concept of God so biblically grounded that you can allow yourself to believe that His intentions to you are not predicated on some performance of consistent good by you?  For most of us, the awareness of God’s love for us is powerful when we are doing good things. We might think,

I know God loves me when I help others

I know God loves me when I’m kind to my family

I know God loves me when I pray

I know God loves me when I give my money to charity

I know God loves me when I attend religious gatherings

I know God loves me when I stop that sin that I so often cherish

Very few people are bold enough to believe that God loves them even though they steal or lie or cheat or lust or envy or get drunk or live another week without prayer.  Amazingly, I do not find in scripture where what I do affects the presumed ebb and flow of God’s love at all.  God’s love is a constant force.  God’s love is constantly full-force.  God’s love for me is wholly independent of my inability to earn it or maintain it’s degree of outpouring.  You see, God loves us because it is His nature and nothing you and I can do has any impact on the nature of the Almighty.  God never changes and that means we wake each day and can know some things are certain in the universe.  God is the source of all that is certain and we must believe that His love rests affixed at the summit of that list of unchangeables.  He is the great constant that man’s heart searches for in life.

You need to be okay with what you have read today.  Christians, you should take some serious time to ponder how long you might continue to live trying to earn what you already have in fullness. You who are not Christians need to know that the fullness of benefits of God’s love are hidden in His Son, Jesus Christ.  In Christ, grace is lavished upon us like a tidal wave and that unconditional love from God finds its perfect mark.  Once a person has bowed to Jesus, they can have confidence before the throne of the King.  Don’t be afraid of God when you are bad – be desperate for His love to transform you.  Don’t be smug when you’ve lived another day in obedient faithfulness – be equally desperate that you won’t subtly believe that God is now indebted to do you good according to what you have done.  May we stop this frenetic attempt to salve our anxious hearts with a search for something redeemable within us that affords our hearts reassurance before Him.  There’s nothing there to justify you before Him.  Get over it.  Get over you.

Never, ever…get over Him.