Fresh Hope – 28th November 2018

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ Romans 5:8.

 

Do we live like we know we are truly loved by God? Do we live like we know His love is unconditional? Do we live like we know God wouldn’t change His mind about us? He would still die for us today, like He did all those years ago.

We often process God’s nature and feelings towards us like we process the earthly relationships around us. We watch real people withdraw love from people who upset them. We see people hold grudges against others. We watch people form relationships for what they can get. So it’s a mind-set shift to comprehend that God operates in a different way.

While we know in our heads that God’s love isn’t condition based, for many of us, the reality of this hasn’t sunk into our hearts. Before we know it we find ourselves in a toxic system of religious performance – striving for approval, favour and love. Sadly, we will inevitably fail at some point and because we don’t understand the love of God, we then struggle with shame and condemnation. A vicious cycle.

In the words of Randall Worley, ‘It’s impossible to disappoint God, because in order to disappoint Him, we’d have to do something He didn’t know we were capable of doing’. When God said He loved you, there was nothing about you hidden. No ugly parts of you that He did not know.

Being that God is God, the way he relates to us isn’t like the typical earthly relationships we often see. He saw all your past, your present, and your future and still chose to die for you. The death of Jesus is universal (for all mindkind), yet also so personal and individual.  

Jeremiah 31:34 says, ‘I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more’ (Jeremiah 31:34).

Humans may forgive you, but they can’t always forget. God not only forgives our sins, but also can forget them. Being that He is God, He is the only one that has the ability to forget if He chooses to. So stop reminding Him of where you have failed. If God has chosen to forgive AND forget, then how much more should we freeourselves!

Live like you know God loves your unconditionally. Live like you know He has forgotten your failures. When you do good works, let the effort come from knowing your position in Christ, not trying to earn a position you already have!

When the prodigal son returns to his father’s house, it was his older, perfectly performing brother who was annoyed. Why? Because he worked his butt off, doing all the right things to get a position, and here was his rebellious brother returning from sin to receive all the same rights and privileges! The words of the loving father to the bothered brother were ‘everything I have is yours anyways’(Luke 15:31). Here was the older, jealous son, working hard for His father’s approval and inheritance, when the whole time he had it anyways! He was wasting his time trying to earn it!

How often are we working for something we already have? How often are we trying to earn the father’s love and blessings, counting all the good things we’ve done, hoping we will rightfully receive our share of favour, when God has already given us all love, favour and blessings! Stop working for something that is already yours!  

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.