For the love of God

Nothing thrills me more than to write a misleading title that draws people into my blog and then I get to shower them with humor and love and just a general, gotcha! I’m so easily entertained.

OK, so picture a bride and groom standing at the front of the church… stars in their eyes, hearts full of love, they cannot imagine life without each other. Hopes are high; emotions are at a fever pitch. Each person puts their whole faith and trust in the notion that the other will make them happy.

And then life happens.

Children are born and grow, bills come every month, family causes distraction, careers take their toll… life has a way of shooting super-strength blades of grass up through the toughest concrete. Nobody can stand up through it all.

That sparkling bride and groom are the concrete and the blades of grass have begun to break through. Our sidewalks are full of cracks and broken places and we need help and healing. Where can we look? We can look to the love of God.

We can’t expect someone in our life to fulfill all our needs. It’s not humanly possible. It may seem to be everything we need at one point in time, and that bubble may last years, but there comes a time when our broken places can only be filled up with the love of our Father God.

Seek after God and His perfect love, and then our cracks can begin to mend, our potholes can begin to be filled up again. Instead of focusing on our hurts, focus on His promise to heal them.

He is the answer-giver, He is the way-maker, and He knows what we need before we even ask (Matthew 6:8).

The love of God is there for the taking, I encourage you to go wrap up in it tonight.

The perfect combination

I’ve been pondering grace and mercy and faith and repentance; the balance of which entire theologies are being made of… a little of this, a lot of that; finding the perfect mixture that answers our questions and makes us feel like we’ve got it all figured out.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t have it all figured out. I know that all these elements work together in the life and walk of a Christian, but I’m not sure when you cross the line and you’ve got too much of one at the expense of another.

I know that I cannot perpetually walk in sin in an area of my life without having to pay the wages of that sin. The Bible assures me that the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) I know that’s when I’m in danger of being out from under the protection of my Father God. But the Bible also tells me that when I repent of my sin, He is faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9) If I sin and repent, and sin and repent again, I know His forgiveness will be there for me.

I stumbled upon an amazing scripture the other day and as I’ve let it roll around in my head, I love it more and more. It is found in Psalm 94:18-19, If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. It is the perfect scripture for an imperfect person, like me.

The Lord’s mercy is astounding. His grace is a precious gift. But I believe it has a lot to do with the attitude of the heart; an attitude of repentance, a willingness to say, “I blew it.”

When I blow it, He’s got my back.

But in addition to repentance, I have to receive the forgiveness that He so quickly and consistently provides. I can’t move forward without using my faith to accept His mercy. Only then can I pick myself up, dust myself off, and move forward.

I cannot do without God’s grace and mercy… and He cannot do without my faith and repentance. It’s the perfect combination of His job and mine that makes it work.