Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A No-Guilt Relationship

Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money—everything’s free!
Isaiah 55:1 from The Message.

I’ve recently discovered a surprising truth. The truth is, God wants us to take His love for granted.

“Ah,” you say, “we can’t do that. Taking His love for granted is a sin. It’s ingratitude. We need to be thankful for His love.”

Well, you’re right. We should be thankful for His love. But the truth (again) is that He loves us regardless of whether or not we are thankful, and He always will, completely, joyfully, with no restrictions. He gives His love, and the blessings that come with it, extravagantly, without expecting anything in return, even our gratitude.

We cannot “pay” for our blessings with thanksgiving. Gratitude is not a penance. Everything good we receive from God’s hand—and it’s all good—is given freely, without a thought on God’s part of charging a thanksgiving fee.

God knows us so well. He knows we’re never going to be grateful to the extent we have been blessed by Him. We can’t be. He does things for us every day that we're totally oblivious of, and always will be. He doesn’t say, “They don’t even notice when I kill those cancer cells in their lungs before they have a chance to develop, so I’m going to quit doing it.” He just goes on loving and blessing, day after day, and will do so for eternity, without regret or second thoughts, or raised eyebrows over our oblivion to His love. Just because He loves us.

Now, that doesn’t mean He won’t withhold blessings sometimes for our good. If we aren’t thankful, we suffer, and His biggest blessing—the happiest one—is actually our awareness of His blessing. So, because He loves us, He may chasten us to bring us to a place where we can appreciate His love more fully. But NEVER does He do that because we aren’t paying our dues. He ALWAYS does it because He wants us to know the unique delight of living consciously in His love.

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. Ephesians 2:8-10 from The Message

When we come to the place in our relationship with God where we realize our salvation is totally his business

—when we never worry about losing His favor

—when we throw ourselves GLEEFULLY on His mercy every day,

Then we are freed up to care about other things.

—important things

—things of the Kingdom.

We are able to focus on doing the good works we were created to do in Christ Jesus.

Now if I could just figure out how to quit feeling guilty for not posting more often. That’s my next project.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

What a great point - God wants us to take His love for granted so we can get on with other things, Kingdom things. We don't need to live in fear of losing His love. There's freedom in understanding this truth. This is really good, Ginny!