Thursday, July 19, 2007

God's Presence 9 (Being Loved By God)

One of the desires in life is to be loved. We long to be loved with a pure love. Unfortunately, much of life brings heartache as others can only love us with conditional love (I love you when, I love you if...). But Brother Lawrence, in his fifth letter (p. 35) reminds us that God loves us with the fullness of pure love.
This pure love does not come from methods or programs. Brother Lawrence says: "On the contrary, I found methods to be discouraging. My intent, at the beginning of my Christian walk, was to give myself to God all at once. I did this out of love for Him, because I wanted to pay for my sins and renounce everything that offended Him." Are you aware of what offends God? It is difficult to love and be loved by God if we don't know what offends God. The Bible is clear in what God desires. At the core, Micah 6:8 tells us, "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Instead of worrying whether or not our walk is good enough, we need to humble ourselves and understand that God loves us as His created being; unconditionally. He does want us to be just, and to love, and to be humble. But He loves us even when we are not. He loves us because we are part of Him; created in His image.
As we allow ourselves to be loved in this unconditional way, we then are freed up to really live for God. We are then motivated to seek to please God with our lives because we want to give thanks to God for this love and this life we are given. As Brother Lawrence says on page 37: "This King, Who is full of goodness and mercy, doesn't punish me. Rather, He embraces me lovingly and invites me to eat at His table (Revelation 3:20). He serves me Himself and gives me the keys to His treasury, treating me as His favorite." And in response, we are to give God our simple, loving attention as much of the day as we can.
In trying to remember God in this way, we remain in God through Christ.