Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why I love God

There are a million reasons why I love God but for the sake of blogging, I’m going to try to keep this simple. I can’t promise this will be short but I will do my best. I love God because He is so much more than we hear about. And He is so much more than just the author of life. God is a real character in my story. When you read a romance novel, do you find yourself falling in love with the author? I didn’t think so. If you’re like me, you fall in love with the characters. And because God is real and an active character in my story, I love Him.

It’s been said and written that the best things in life are meant to be shared. When good things happen in our lives, we naturally want to share them with the people we love and care about. The Bible tells us that God is love and because He is love, He naturally desires to love us and He wants us to love Him back, authentically. God has lots of goodies that he would like to share with us through His favor on us and He wants to bless us with godly wisdom but that can only be imparted to us through a personal relationship with Him. It’s so difficult to explain God and how He loves us because His love is lavish, unconditional and overwhelming in the most amazing and extraordinary way. 

I’ve learned that love can never be forced. You could never force or make a person love you. And although God has the power to make us love Him back, He allows us to choose. I love that about Him. I love that He didn’t create us to be robots programmed to do what He wants us to do. It is His love and His kindness and His mercy and His grace that transforms the human heart.

To prove to you that love can not be forced, I will leave you with this example: If you were held as a prisoner in a foreign country, a guard could easily use his “almost” unlimited power to make you do things you thought you would never do. With applied force, a guard could make you renounce your God, curse your family, work without pay, eat human excrement, etc. But what the guard can not make you do with applied force is love him. 

God’s word says that we love because He loved us first. Our love is a response to Gods love for us. And because of that, we have the capacity and the ability to love God and love others. When you have a real God encounter and God reveals to you His lavish love for you, it’s more than just remarkable and super-natural. It’s transformative. When God reveals Himself to you, you will never be the same.

If God has not revealed Himself to you yet, it is never God’s fault. The problem is never God. The problem is that our hearts are hard and closed off and we’re too proud or stubborn or afraid to allow God in. I know this because I avoided God for 31 years before I Iet Him in. I avoided Him out of fear. And I see this all the time in people. Many people believe they have to clean up their act before they can get serious with God. And they believe the fallacy that they need to clean up their act or be perfect to go to church or to enter into a relationship with Him but it’s just the opposite. God invites us to come as we are, because it's His job to do the clean up. He can only change you and clean you up, if you are willing. You must be open to it. The Christian life is a process of learning, and growing and changing. Nobody is perfect and nobody gets it right all the time. Sometimes we fall, sometimes we stumble, sometimes we fail miserably but God already knows this about us and He loves us anyway. He is full of mercy and grace and he corrects us gently not to condemn us or shame us but to give us rest from living lives that are not congruent with how He designed us to live. He created us for love and to love, to be peacemakers, to enter into His rest through a relationship with Him and to share God’s love with others.

The difference between man and God I’ve learned is this: Man will fail you. God will not. Man will pursue you until he has you and God never stops pursuing you. God pursues because He longs for us to share our hearts and lives with him daily, He wants to love us and bless us through a relationship with Him. He's going to love you either way but through a relationship with Him, you will feel His love and experience His presence in your life. Through a relationship with Him, He teaches us, shapes us, molds us, makes us better and wiser. Yes indeed, what He desires is a relationship with us but He will never force Himself on you. He allows you to choose. And He wants us to cultivate that relationship with Him by choosing to spend time with Him through prayer, reading the Bible, sitting in solitude being still before Him so we can hear Him, and through regular church attendance to hear the Word of God and to worship Him. When we do these things, our relationship with Him grows and we go deeper.

Let me ask you this: Can you recall a time when a significant person in your life sat you down with the sole purpose of wanting to know your heart more deeply, fully expecting to enjoy what would be found there? I can’t but did you know that that’s what God wants? He wants us to open our hearts to Him, daily. This happens through a relationship. He wants us to talk to Him through prayer about our desires, our hopes our dreams, our struggles, our needs and what hurts us deep inside.

I love God because He is always pursuing us. Some of us see it and ignore it and some of us see it and respond to it. I love Him because He calls us friend and beloved and because we are the apple of His eye. God has revealed His passionate and tender love for humanity and that was demonstrated in a very powerful way at Calvary, at the cross when He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus to take our place. 2000 years ago, Jesus died on a cross for our sins friends. And three days later, He was resurrected and joined His Father in heaven and when we believe that He took our place and paid our sin debt, and accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are saved and born again spiritually. It’s radical, I know. It blew my mind too when I first learned about it but I continued to pray to God about this and begged Him to help me understand this truth. And He did! And I have experienced the hand of God in my life more times than I can remember. 

Beloved, God sets His affection on us. And His desire is to free us from bondage, to bless us, to prosper us, and to dwell in our hearts but sadly many reject Him. I rejected Him for many years, for three decades to be exact and compartmentalized Him for many years only calling on Him when I was in trouble, when I needed Him, or when I felt sad. I can’t imagine the anguish in His heart because I rejected Him over and over and over or how His heart churned. And what I love about God is that He never gave up on me. He never stopped loving me. He never stopped pursuing me because He’s not a quitter. And God will never give up on you either.

Can I ask you a few questions?

Have you ever felt sympathy for a friend who lost their spouse?

Have you ever sat in silence as a friend cried out in grief to you because someone broke their heart?

Did you hear the churning of their heart, the deep distress?

God cries too in distress when we reject Him. We break His heart every time we reject Him. And yet, God does not give up! And it’s because He’s committed to love. God is the very essence of love and love never fails my friend. He is relentless in His pursuit.

God sent us His son, Jesus to rescue mankind. And through Jesus, He defeated Satan and destroyed the power that sin wields over the human heart. God invites us into a beautiful relationship with Him through His Son and is willing to forgive and begin a new thing in your life. And that’s why I love God.  

No matter how bad you’ve blown it, nothing is too hard for God. Nothing. There is nothing you’ve done that God can not and will not forgive.

Nothing is impossible for God or with God because He is a great healer, the God of second chances and new beginnings and fresh starts and I just love that about Him!

Until next time,

xx, Ruthie

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. ~Romans 10:9-10