THE RECKLESS LOVE OF GOD

27 09 2018

42554861_10217002039708276_7321010341465292800_nReal love is in short supply in our world today. Whenever I see adults mistreating children, it raises my blood pressure and causes me to say something to attempt to defuse a potential bullying situation. What we see is an alarming and frightening increase of child abuse everywhere. This past week, I read the unbelievable story of a four-year-old boy who was beaten to death by his stepfather because the boy had wet his pants. When his small body was dug up, a tiny cross was found clutched in his hand. This is not the way God intended it to be.

One of the truths of the Faith that resonates deep within my heart of hearts is knowing that God has chosen to be a Loving Father to we His children. My earthly Dad was an amazing man and I loved being with him and in so many positive ways, he modeled for me what our good, good, Heavenly Father is all about!

I was watching a tearjerker of a Christian Movie and there was a scene where a devoted father came into the hospital room to visit his eight-year-old who was dying of cancer. The child, sensing that he was not going to get well asked his father, “Daddy, am I going to Heaven soon?” “Why, son?” “Are you afraid to go and be with God?” The child looked up into the eyes of his father and replied, “Not if God is like you, Daddy!

Growing up going to Church, I was terrified of the Clergy in charge. They painted a picture of God that was super strict and seriously stern and never smiled! He wanted you to be good or else! I experienced way too much of the “or else,” and it created a chasm between myself and my Creator. Like the Boogie Man, I had to keep watching like a hawk to make sure that he didn’t get me. I for sure didn’t want to be caught.

The Gospel is not at all about running away from a God who is out to get you to lock you up and keep you from living life. It is all about running to a God, who, that just like my Dad, His face always lights up when He sees you. He wants you to know that you have been fearfully and wonderfully made. In His arms, we discover that there is a hope and a future for us together.   

The invitation that the church should be offering is “Come to The Table,” and not “Join the Society of Those Satisfied with the Status Quo.” Life in the fellowship of Christians is built on, in, and around relationships that are personal, intimate, and share a strong family like communion with one another!  That’s what our lives should be all about. When you are truly loved by God, you can’t help but love others; even when you can’t fully understand it! After being in the midst of those who have been with Jesus, you should be cared for, listened to, ministered to and held in the highest of esteem! The genuine love of God is contagious and draws those who are craving the real deal. 

Come on church, it is time for us to represent the real deal! We need to be the kind of disciples who are sold out to the Lord and will go wherever He leads to love whoever He sends our way! Faith is not about money, favors, power and popularity! It doesn’t seek to be first but to seek Jesus first! When the love of God comes into your heart, it transforms everything about you! You start taking on the traits of the Savior, leaving the signs of the society behind. Believers are citizens of Heaven and no longer bogged down by things of this earth.

Love moves in mysterious ways. The reckless love of God is the kind of love you must be moved by. It is not a “so what” attitude but a “now what” sense of adventure. The servant of the Lord, like the Lord Jesus Himself, must be characterized by the reckless love of God. If someone is going to have an effective ministry, it starts by loving people. You can be the best at your craft but if there is no love, there is no substance and the foundation is missing! Love doesn’t take long to take root but once it does take root, it lasts long! It actually lasts forever. Funny how short church relationships can go. Maybe even the Church needs more Jesus than flashy programs and big budgets and flashy gimmicks. Maybe it simply does come down to loving God first and loving one another as the fruit of getting the most important relationship right.

 

Jesus People are incredibly generous. They don’t regard their stuff as their stuff. They are generous to their relatives and their non-relatives. They are generous to their friends, but also to their enemies. They are known for their extraordinary generosity. That’s what reckless love can do! That’s what reckless love should be! And if it is the true love of Jesus, then you learn that Jesus loves you even when you don’t love Him back!

If you live a life of surrendered generosity to God, and I know we live in an area that will not call you to this, but Jesus does, then you know that God’s love is a verb. Love helps those who can’t help themselves. Love gives the very best even to those who don’t deserve it. Love puts the priority on relationship. Love is a name and it’s Jesus.

I challenge you to take an inventory of your soul and make sure that the Lord is actually your first love. When you know Jesus is number one for sure then pursue him with every bit of your heart. Once you do that, keep an eye open of how your life will spill into acts of reckless love pouring forth from your life. God wants to produce in you and through you an extravagant love that can’t be properly explained or ignored! God is all about reckless love. Maybe today is the day we give up the neatness and orderly manner and jump in to the ocean of the marvelous grace of our loving Lord.

 


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