Monday, June 11, 2007

No Fear In Love...

So sorry it has been so long...Let's see...
Me, Abe and Jerm moved into our apartment, named The Loft, and it had been sweet...Just three dudes living together trying to figure how to best serve God and the people in the area...So excited for what is coming our way...

Reading the Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning still...It really is a book you have to go slowly through...I have been thinking about this idea of forgiveness and how and why we deserve it...Ha...Really we don't, God just chooses to be that awesome and give us grace we will never understand...Back to the book a little bit...This paragraph hit me like a baseball in the eye...

"The saved sinner is prostrate in adoration, lost in wonder and praise. He knows repentance is not what we do in order to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven. It serves as an expression of gratitude rather than an effort to earn forgiveness. Thus the sequence of forgiveness and then repentance, rather than repentance and then forgiveness."

Yeah...I think I have been going about the whole thing all wrong...I have this little sequence thing of Sin-Repent-Sin-Repent, and that is not how it should work...You shouldn't go to God "feeling bad" about what you have done...I mean, you should be a little upset you sinned, but the whole feeling sorry for oneself thing is not truly being sorry...God wants you to come to Him seeking honestly for His heart and honestly wanting to dwell with Him...Lost in all that He is...We don't come to God trying to earn something...We don't have to earn anything...Jesus had nails put through his body so that we earn this thing called the grace of God that is a living, breathing thing given out of love we will never completely understand as a human...If you are saved, you have been forgiven and thus no longer have to repent feeling as if you are earning God's forgiveness....It already happened...

God is not some Buddha figure sitting up in heaven unmoving and hard as stone...God is present everywhere all the time...He is next to you now whether you want Him there or not...In legalistic religion, there is a tendency to mistrust God, others, and ultimately ourselves...Do you believe that God is love? Or have you learned to fear God? John says "In love there can be no fear for fear is driven out by perfect love. Fear has to do with punishment and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love." (1 John 4:18) Sometimes I think of God as a judge, punisher, and disciplinarian...That could not be more wrong...God's love is shown through Jesus...He loves US so much, that He let His son be killed so that we could be with Him forever...

So when you screw up...When you just want to hide in a corner from God...Remember that you can't hide and just go to Him, as broken and battered as you are...And truthfully and honestly want God to just take over your sin...That is what asking for forgiveness is...A confession of your heart...Besides, God knows your heart anyways, so once again, hiding won't work, and there really is no reason to hide...

There is no fear in love...

4 comments:

Julia said...

"There is no fear in love" That's really a beautiful message Jake!

Was just on writing a new blog myself and decided to check on Stephan and your blogs to see if there were any new stuff up.

I especially like and had been thinking myself about how God knows your heart. I had been thinking about in different terms, but I like how you made the point that it just really is no reason to hide from God because it doesn't work. I really like that ALOT! We struggle with sin because we are sinners because we are human. Not to say we should give in, but maybe know that god understands we are struggling and loves us anyway? It's a hard concept i'm sure because as humans we mostly experience conditional love but conditional love is not what we get from God. Like you said "There is no fear in love"

Good Blog!

Jerm's Aunt Connie said...

That is a great perspective. I plan to share it with the ladies I teach Bible Study to who are in jail.

Three guys living together.....
I hope you have Lysol!

Bleesing from Charlotte!

AZ said...

Hey Jake, that's awesome. How often do we as Christians try to "prove" ourselves to God when really it's all about "come[ing] to Him seeking honestly for His heart and honestly wanting to dwell with Him...Lost in all that He is..." Wow.
Hope you Abe and Jeremy are having a sweet time and that everything is going well in with the church.

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