Apparently, I let out a deep, light secret last night.
God loves you.
Well, okay, everyone—especially those so hungry for God that they’ve come to a Christian community like Rose Creek Village—knows that God loves them.
Somehow. In some way. Certainly in a way worth talking about.
But apparently we don’t know it in a way that produces real believing.
Don’t get me wrong. There are people who walk around in joy all the time. They know God loves them, and they know it the right way. They’ve got it inside, and they’re pouring it out in their lives day by day.
But there’s a good chance you’re not one of them. So let me let you in on the secret:
God’s Not Disappointed in You!
Okay, I’m going to narrow my audience down here the way Paul did. I’m speaking to those who "love God and are the called according to his purpose."
But for those of you that have repented, but you still can’t seem to get it right, I have good news for you …
You never will.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3)
If you’re in Christ, then the reason you’re not getting it right is because you need someone else to live your life for you. You’re dead. Your life is safely and permanently tucked away with Christ inside of God.
No wonder you’re a hopeless failure!
Give it up!
For I am crucified with Christ; neverthless, I live. Yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
We all know that verse, but do we do it?
Do we hopelessly give up on ourselves and let Christ live in us … through us?
Coming Boldly to the Throne of Grace
So you just sinned. One more time you opened your big mouth. You got your feelings hurt, and you mistreated the perpetrator. You chickened out and didn’t confess the Lord when a good opportunity arose. You looked at the wrong thing or in the wrong place.
Or, worst of all, you failed to help a person in need.
So what now?
Well, now you have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. That’s what 1 Jn. 2:2 says. And surely you’ve heard that the word "advocate" there means a defense lawyer. Jesus Christ is on your side against God.
What a bunch of poppycock and slander against God!
You don’t need a defense attorney against God. God’s on your side! And if Jesus is defending you before God, then he’s doing it because God commanded him to. Jesus only does what he sees his Father doing.
"If God be for us, who can be against us?" Do you remember that verse?
If not, go look it up. It’s in Romans 8:31. Read it. Read the verses around it. Eat them (Jer. 15:16). Let them become part of you. Let them become the rejoicing of your heart.
I looked up th. Greek word in 1 Jn. 2:1. It’s parakletos.
For those of you that don’t know, that’s what the Holy Spirit is called in John 14. It’s comforter.
Oh, yeah, in some situations it can mean a defense attorney. But not before God! Not for you! You don’t need a defense attorney before God.
God’s on Your Side
God already knew, from the foundation of the world, that you were going to be weak and fail.
When you are weak and fail, you have to look up at God. He already knows you’re helpless without him. He knows you can’t repent—and follow through on that repentance—without his grace.
So what does he want you to do? Hide because you think he’s going to punish you?
Never! All God’s punishment is redemptive. None of it is just punitive—at least not with disciples.
If God is ever disappointed with you, it is because he wants you to repent. It’s not even because you haven’t repented yet. It’s because he wants his displeasure to motivate you to what you desperately need, repentance.
Then, once you’ve repented, he wants his love to fill you. He wants you to love him because he first loved you.
Quit thinking God feels bad about you. Once you desire the good, knowing you’re helpless to produce it, but also knowing that Jesus Christ is you deliverance, then God feels GREAT about you.
Is All This True?
Yes, yes, yes!
Let us come boldly to the throne of grace so that we may find mercy and grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16)
Notice the order. Mercy is first, grace second.
The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age. (Tit. 2:11-12)
Mercy is God forgiving us. Grace is God teaching us, empowering us, and using us.
You can’t do righteousness without God. You are evil.
Yes, you are evil.
If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, then how much more does your Father in heaven know how to give the Holy Spirit to those that ask him. (Matt. somewhere—6:11?)
Don’t worry, God already knows that.
That’s why mercy is first, and then grace to help is second. He forgives you so that you will stick around, with your eyes on him, obtaining the power you need which God calls grace.
Aargh! There’s sooooo much to say on this subject and not enough time to say it!!!
Sin will not have power over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Rom. 6:14)
There is now therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1)
If you want to have joy, peace, and righteousness, I highly recommend believing these things and coming boldly to the throne of grace to obtain the grace you need.