LENT DAY 1

Loves Us Still by Corinne Mannes

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:17-18)
 

I think the hardest thing for any believer to grasp is God’s unconditional love for each one of us.  But this truth is SO foundational to our walks with God. We can’t afford to shrug our shoulders in defeat and give in to the lie that even though Jesus’s promises are true, somehow, they are for other people—people who are more worthy of God’s love.

I remember once I went away on a retreat in order to be alone and get some writing done.  You know—be productive for the Kingdom of God and all that. Because God helps those who help themselves, right?  The early bird gets the worm?  The harder we work the more God loves us?  Right?

But God had other plans for my retreat.  In His kindness, He knew that what my heart needed and what my soul longed for, was a deeper understanding (not just in the head) of how much He loved me.  Not because of how good I was. Not because of how productive I was. Not because of anything at all.  He just LOVES me.  All the bits of me.  Even the ones I keep hidden from everyone else because they’re not very loveable.  You know.  The selfish bits.  The petty bits.  The shallow bits.  

So I went away to be productive and God met me with priceless gift instead.  I was asking him to help me get stuff done and in reply He gave me what I really needed.

This is how it happened.  

I was lamenting my writer’s block and feeling like a big fat failure when I grabbed an old hymnal and started flipping through it.  You know how people say “the words jumped right off the page” and you always think it’s really cliché? Well, the words jumped right off the page. Then they went through my chest and into my heart.  Not just thoughts that would rattle around uselessly inside my head; this was Truth that sank deeply into my soul.

There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.

The wounds on his hands are proof of how much my sin hurts him.  And yet those same hands, bearing those wounds, reach out in love to me.

God SEES the things we hide from everyone else and STILL completely loves us.  The foundation of our relationship with God is this truth: Jesus weeps and loves us still.

Prayer: God, help me take my eyes off my failures and faults and keep them fixed on you and your relentless, unchanging love for me.  Let this truth be the foundation of my life.

 
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