How God loves

th-4Only God can love like this.

Just as I am. Come as you are. No conditions. No requirements. No clean-up. No reorientation.

That kind of God and that kind of love sets the stage for the rest of us. God shows us how to love and He puts His love in us to carry it out. And it’s a love that stays the same on both sides of salvation.

I recently met a man who told me he had a special ministry to homosexuals — that he loved them and accepted them, but of course, once they came to Christ, he then had to show them in the scriptures where homosexuality is a sin and they’re going to have to change their ways.

That’s like saying, “I love you, I accept you; Christ died for your sins;” and as soon as someone responds, we pull the rug out from under them and go: “JUST KIDDING!”

Change is in the picture for all of us, but it is in no way connected to love and acceptance, as if God withholds, or takes back His love and acceptance until we fix ourselves. Do you have anything you need to change? Why haven’t you done anything about that? How long do you expect to take? What shall we do with you in the meantime?

I’ve got some things that need to change in my life that I’ve been tolerating for some time. Whether it’s that I’m refusing to change, or it’s simply too hard, I’m not going to even try to answer right now, but I do notice that I haven’t been kicked out of the kingdom. Unfortunately, I am forcing those around me to tolerate me in my disobedience (not to mention making myself miserable) which they are doing, somehow, because they love me, though I’m putting a lot of strain on their love and forgiveness.

But the love of God is on a whole different level. It’s not dependent on these discussions. Nothing gets in the way of it. We don’t measure out love, or withhold it, or make it at all conditional. We just love and accept people as they are, because that’s what God does.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE GOD OF JESUS LOVES YOU BEYOND WORTHINESS AND UNWORTHINESS, BEYOND FIDELITY AND INFIDELITY, THAT HE LOVES YOU IN THE MORNING SUN AND THE EVENING RAIN, THAT HE LOVES YOU WHEN YOUR INTELLECT DENIES IT, YOUR EMOTIONS REFUSE IT, YOUR WHOLE BEING REJECTS IT? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT GOD LOVES WITHOUT CONDITION OR RESERVATION, AND LOVES YOU THIS MOMENT AS YOU ARE AND NOT AS YOU SHOULD BE?  — Brennan Manning

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5 Responses to How God loves

  1. Lisa in Sunland says:

    “Just As I Am” is one of my favorite hymns. It was also the invitation playing when I “went forward” at 16 to accept Christ. “Just as I am and waiting not, to rid my soul of one dark blot.” I’m so glad God can cleanse each spot and wants me to come… just as I am!

    • Mark Seguin says:

      I too Lisa WUV that Fanny Crosby song “Just As I Am” – it deeply touched my heart the first time i heard it song in Church after I had become a new follower of Jesus…. 🙂

  2. bobenearSeattle says:

    A story is told about a rabbi who lived in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the early 1900s. [At that time] the Jewish people living in New York City were mostly poor immigrants, many of whom had fled their homes to escape persecution in Europe. Anyhow, there was a city function that the rabbi attended and a notoriously anti-Semitic clergyman was also present.
    (The clergyman’s religion and denomination are not important for our purposes. True men of God do not hate or belittle others for no reason.)
    The clergyman wasted no time in speaking badly about the Jewish people. He turned to the rabbi and said, “I had a dream last night that I was in Jewish heaven.” Intrigued, the rabbi asked, “And what is it like in Jewish heaven?” The clergyman responded, “The streets were filled with dirty children playing in the mud. The women were haggling with fish vendors and beggars tried to interrupt, asking for handouts. The clotheslines stretched across the roads, dripping and adding to the mess below. And of course, rabbis were seen running around with large Talmudic volumes under their arms.”
    The rabbi thought for a moment and said, “That’s funny because last night I dreamt of your heaven.” To that the clergyman asked, “What’s it like in my heaven?” The rabbi responded, “It is magnificent. The streets shine, the beautiful homes are exquisitely lined up in perfect symmetry, each with a small garden that has beautiful flowers and a perfectly manicured lawn.” The clergyman beamed, “And tell me about the people there!” The rabbi smiled and said, “People? There were no people!”
    The message of the story is that in a perfect world there couldn’t possibly be any people, because human beings by their very nature are flawed. If God wanted perfection, He could have made us all angels. But God wanted people, imperfections and all, and He gave us the Bible so that we might improve upon ourselves and grow close to Him.
    I want to encourage us all to never feel diminished by our imperfections. In fact, what makes us human is also what gives us the capacity to have a relationship with God. Life isn’t perfect and neither are we – rather we are wondrous children of God becoming the best that we can be.

    Excerpted from “Holy Land Moments: It’s OK to Be Human” –
    http://www.holylandmoments.org/devotionals/its-ok-to-be-human

  3. drewdsnider says:

    I guess that’s why we’re supposed to *lead* people to the Lord — not push, pull or drag them to Salvation. In their zeal to help people get saved, I think some folks get frustrated when they run up against people who won’t even acknowledge God, let alone the possibility that they need Jesus. So we just keep plugging, loving people, showing by example that there is a better Way — a big come-as-you-are party; we plant the seeds and hope and trust that something will take root. Water, passing over a rock, has the same effect as a hammer — it just takes longer. In fact, it does a much more thorough job.

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