A few thoughts on God's love------as I am experiencing it.
A few weeks ago (before the MOMENT of moments in my life) one of the residents here was talking about how she couldn't stand the thought of sinning against God willfully. While I didn't express my thoughts back to her, they were EXACTLY this, "Why? Why can't you just willfully sin against God? I do it all the time and I don't care....I just DON"T GET IT!!!!!" On the day that God showed the depths of His love to me in the shower and I cried, and then in the four or five days later as I realized I had truly been brought to a place of true repentance before God, totally by His doing, I KNEW THE ANSWER--I KNEW IT IN MY HEART OF HEARTS. My fellow resident friend did not want to sin anymore willfully against God just as I no longer did and it was for the same reason. I HAD BEEN FORGIVEN MUCH and love to Him was the only response I could give. I couldn't live the same anymore because He had forgiven Me and the love in my heart flowed and still flows out of gratitude towards Him........and it will FOREVER!!!!!!! THE DEBT HE PAID WAS SO HUGE FOR MY SIN ALONE....I AM SO THANKFUL!!!!
Jesus told an account of something similar.......maybe a little better said :)
Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."
Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.
"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
When we realize we are TRULY forgiven, something changes....love is the response towards a God that is perfect, holy, without sin, and yet loved us enough to send Jesus to take our sin upon Himself........so that we could know him-----not know ABOUT HIM, but TRULY KNOW HIM!!!!!!!
It is truly an amazing love because it is a love that will constantly without fail go to the ends of the earth and back again to persue us and draw us to himself. Now let me honestly say that this is a new concept for me. Before his love drew me, I was absolutely certain that I had rejected him one too many times to be forgiven. It was like a "three strikes you're out mentality" to me. And I really believed that I had lost all opportunity to come to Him-and knew I couldn't just conjure up true repentance in myself anyways-it had to be a gift from Him. Here are two verses.
"God's kindness leads you towards repentance." I guess I just want to encourage you because I have no idea, who may be reading this, or who will read this in the future, but I just want to say that if you are asking serious questions like I was, and haven't yet been brought to the point by God where it all finally clicks and comes together as a matter of the heart and not the head, keep asking the ONE TRUE GOD and seeking HIM ALONE (instead of other avenues or ANY of man's "religious ideas" that are going to draw you farther away from Him.) WHILE THERE IS STILL LIFE, THERE IS STILL HOPE. And while yet alive, no one is beyond the reach, mercy, kindness, and love of God. HE KNOWS THOSE THAT ARE YET TO BE HIS!!!!!!!
"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done,
but because of His mercy."
So as I think about loving God in return, NOT BY ANY MEANS OUT OF A NEED TO "PROVE" MY LOVE FOR HIM, BUT RATHER COMPLETELY OUT OF GRATITUDE FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE, I am thinking of ways to demonstrate that love and gratitude to Him.
This process that I am currently going through has offered me an opportunity.
Mark 12:30 says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
2 Corinthians 10:5b says, "We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
I guess that what I have to say is that as a result of the process that as I said, I am going through, this whole thing of "Loving God with my mind" and "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (They ARE BOTH RELATED AD INTER-TWINED QUITE WELL), have become so much easier--and I am totally saying that as the truth. When once in a blue moon I would maybe half-way try to attempt to do that in the past, I remember it being sooooo much work---it didn't seem worth the effort! (I guess not being heart-connected to knowing the SOURCE OF ALL SOURCES may have had something to do with it as well) So one way of loving out of gratitude for what HE has done for me, is to truly lOVE HIM WITH MY MIND---and if that means having to go back and look at lies I believed way back there (because God is NOT CONSTRAINED BY time and yet works inside of time with us) in order to find the truth and process things, it's OK. IT WAS FOR TRUTH THAT HE SET US FREE-----NOT for us to keep living in the DUNG HEAP of sin and lies. HE ALREADY KNOWS IT ALL ANYWAYS--it doesn't surprise Him.
So this morning I was looking for a verse when I did my post. It combined the goodness and the love of God together since those two attributes of God have totally enamored me since He found me. I couldn't find the exact verse that I was looking for yet, but I did find this one.
Psalm 86:5 "You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you."
YES!!!! HE IS FORGIVING, GOOD, and ABOUNDING IN LOVE TO ALL WHO CALL ON HIM!!!!!