“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).
How was Thanksgiving? Trust you are plenty stuffed.
We continue with the theme of thanksgiving this week.
Too often, we forget how radical a change takes place when we receive God’s gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. The Bible is not joking when it says, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). Everything is changed because of Jesus.
When Christ saves us we are radically changed.
We go from being enemies and sinners into being God’s heirs and saints. We are radically changed. Once we are received into God’s family, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
I love the writing of Brennan Manning. Instead of being angry and disappointed with us for failing and being repeat sinners, God is a God who is proud of us for wrestling and battling sin! When faced with temptation and sin, God is right beside us as our biggest cheerleader. In one of his books, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Manning makes the following observation of how God interacts with us:
Has it crossed your mind that I am proud you accepted the gift of faith I offered you?
Proud that you freely choose Me, after I had chosen you, as your friend and Lord?
Proud that, with all your warts and wrinkles, you haven’t given up?
Proud that you believe in Me enough to try again and again?
Are you aware how I appreciate you for wanting Me?
I want you to know how grateful I am when you pause to smile and comfort a child who has lost her way.
I am grateful for the hours you devote to learning more about Me; for the word of encouragement you passed on to your burnt-out pastor; for the visit to the shut-in; for your tears for the retarded.
What you did to them, you did to Me.
Alas, I am sad when you do not believe that I have totally forgiven you or you feel uncomfortable approaching Me.
Friends, God loves you. We can’t even begin to fathom the depth of God’s love. Rest in God’s love.