Natalie Hoffman of Flying Free writes the following of what Jesus might say if He were to walk up to you in the street:
"I love you so much. I'm never going to leave you. No matter what you do--no matter what kind of car you buy or don't buy. No matter what church you go to. No matter who you're married to or not married to. No matter how many mistakes... you've made. I will always be here, walking next to you. You can't get rid of me. And guess what else? We are actually GOING SOMEWHERE. You aren't on Plan B, C or D...You are on PLAN A. Because you're MINE. I can make any mistake into Plan A because I'm God. I can. I will. And I love you. My love is so powerful...you don't need to be afraid anymore....you are covered in my extravagant, scandalous grace and love."
People who try to keep the law and "earn" their way into a relationship with God and heaven don't understand this kind of Love. And honestly, it doesn't make sense even to those of us who put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. But, that's Who God says He is. And He doesn't lie...EVER!
Father God, much of my life was spent trying earn Your Love and a place at Your Table. I sincerely thought that I had to hide my struggles and imperfections so that others would see You more clearly. I couldn't have been more wrong! At the end of my rope, all I found was Your extravagant Love. Not condemnation and man-made rules. I understand that You call us to be Holy as You are Holy. And, in this human life, we will never measure up and we will sin and there are consequences for our sin and the sin of others. But, You are using the Holy Spirit, Your Word and Your Love to draw us closer to You in an intimate relationship. You want us to be authentic...mask off...so that we can find healing in You and then pass that Good News onto others! Amen.
What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died for nothing.
Galatians 2:19-21 MSG
MSG personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died for nothing. Galatians 2:19-21 MSG