Saturday, July 18, 2009

Loved

I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8.38-39

More than Anything

You are loved. More than anything else in this world, you must know this. The God Who made you by His own hand and breathed His very life into you loves you. And he loves you with all the force and commitment of a Creator. What do I mean by that? Step back and think about something you’ve created—a story, an artwork, an item of clothing, a garden, a meal, a child, even something as ephemeral as “a moment.” Think of how thoroughly, passionately, and wholeheartedly you love that thing. You know it’s not perfect. You know where it didn’t meet your expectations. You know others don’t value it as dearly as you do. Some may even sneer at you for how much faith and devotion you place in it. Yet you love it. Every fiber of your being is committed to its success and you take pride in it, no matter how well it actually succeeds.

Now, think about how much God loves you—and how he loves you in the same way, only more so. Your imperfections are visible yet not divisive to Him. Your shortcomings are only reasons for Him to show His care and concern. How others see you has no impact on His view of you or His passion for your wellbeing. The God of eternity, Who covers all space and time, and Who knows all things—our great God is committed to you and He’s proud of you. More than anything we must know this.

Inseparable

There is nothing, Paul writes in Romans 8, to prevent God’s love from reaching us. His love is our bond with Him; it’s what makes us inseparable. Paul’s so sure of this—and enraptured by it—that he starts ticking off categories of things that threaten love. Death? God’s love overpowers death; it survives. Life? Because God transcends time, His love is timeless. “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” He tells us in Jeremiah 31.3. What about supernatural and government agents—angels, principalities, and powers? Can they sever our love connection with God? No. In one of His final earthly statements, Jesus clears that up. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” He says in Matthew 28.18. No doubt whispering in your mind, no preacher screaming from a pulpit, no elected official, no prelate, no council, no school board, no family member, no one and nothing can supersede Christ’s authority and He is Love Incarnate. Nothing you face today and nothing you face in the future holds any potential or influence affecting the love God has for you. There’s no mountain high enough, Paul writes, no valley low enough, no creature strong enough to prevent God’s love from reaching you or to pry you out of His hand. Oh yes, you are loved.

Slow Down

I’m writing this from my parents’ home, where my folks spend every waking moment showering their children (natural and spiritual) with love. They’re the kind of people who aren’t easily satisfied; there’s always something else they can find to do, another touch of grace or kindness to add, another act of consideration to perform. At times, when you just want them to sit down and relax, their drive can actually become unnerving. “Can I get you something?” “Are you comfortable?” “Is everything OK?” And about two hours before dinner, a battery of questions begins about every possible menu combination—inevitably followed by, “Or we can just go out for dinner.” In my younger years, my response often would be “Enough already! I get it! You love me. I’m grateful, but I wish you’d lighten up a bit.” All of these questions and suggestions were slowing me down—or so I believed. Now that I’m older, however, I realize the need to slow down; I see why it’s important to stop long enough to be loved.

Chances are, some of you have scanned through this post, seen its topic, and said, “I get it, I get it! God loves me. He wants to do nice things for me.” But while this is nothing new, it is nonetheless thrilling news we can’t take for granted. It’s essential for us to slow down long enough to be loved. We need to feel God’s tight grip of love around us, to relish the security of His love, and to allow the healing warmth of love to permeate our minds, hearts, and souls. Nothing, Paul says, “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” You entire world can change today—everything else you know to be true could turn upside-down and inside out. But God’s love is secure. It holds you securely to Him. You are loved.

Know you are loved. And share your knowledge of God's love. This picture moved me tremendously by proving how important shared love is.

(Tomorrow: Hands Up)

5 comments:

Cuboid Master said...

Thank you.

<----HUG---->

B.

Cuboid Master said...

I hope you don't mind but I published this in my Facebook Notes with a brief biography of you. Really, my friend, you should have a larger audience. God has given you a gift that must be shared.

Tim said...

Dear CM, thank you for such kindness. Of course, I don't mind. The love that such a gesture conveys is more than I could ever expect!

Big love back to you!
Tim

Missy said...

A timeless message, Tim. Sometimes we do take God's love for granted--other times we need to be reminded. Interesting what you say about slowing down long enough to bask in that love. I think lately I have been moving too fast and trying to take everything on myself when I really need to slow down and look for signs of God's love in my life.
Thank you again, my friend, for allowing God to speak to me through you.

Tim said...

Dear Missy, thank you for this. "Basking time" is so important--especially when life's got us on a short leash and whipping us in every direction. I pray that when you do get a few moments to bask that you'll see God's love in every direction, because it surrounds you!

Peace, joy, and big, wraparound love!
Tim