Dear friends, I will be hosting the remaining weeks in our study of Because He Loves Me. Joy of Grace Full Mama is unable to continue on with us due to the unpredictability of internet and power outages. Pray for her and her family when you think of her! Thanks for joining me here, and I pray our remaining weeks in the study will be of great encouragement to you!
To be honest, I'm the kind of person that typically struggles with the premise of a chapter like the one we are in this week, entitled "Walk In Love." I'm warm and affectionate, yes, but when it comes to walking with the Lord, everything in my nature wants to relegate the imitation of His attributes to a dutiful pursuit of responsibility and character-building. I so easily forget about Christ's love for me...and my love for him.
We desire, as believers, to "put on" the fruitfulness of a redeemed life, and "put off" the deeds of the flesh, but we forget that it is an issue of worship, admiration, love, and acknowledgement of how much his love for us has provided for us.
"Every sin we commit, either by omission or commission, is a failure to love as we've been loved. Every transgression of the law finds its genesis in a stinginess of soul, a belief that we've got to protect our interests, fight for our rights, build our kingdom. These are the thoughts of orphans, not well-loved daughters and sons." (p. 144)
Do you want to complain less and be more thankful? It begins with believing that his love for us is enough for every need we have.
Do you want to be kinder to your spouse? It begins with knowing God's love so personally that you are able to extend grace to another.
Do you want to stop manipulating your relationships to fulfill your needs? It begins with being completely satisfied in God's love for you through the Gospel.
Striving to simply be those things we desire to "put on" will only result in discouragement if we are not motivated by the wonder and consuming love he has first shown to us:
"Any obedience that isn't motivated by his great love is nothing more than penance." (p. 148)
So, once again, friends...we are reminded that it is an issue of belief, of identity, a submission to who you are in Christ. We can set aside self-love and self-loathing for the freedom found in Christ's love and responding to his love for us. It's not a gushy, undefined feeling of warmth and relief...no, it is a deliberate embracing of our new identity and a walking IN THE LOVE of he who created us in his image.
"We're more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe; we're more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope." (p. 152)
In this we find hope!
Now let's talk about it...
1) What is the difference between obedience and penance?
2) In what ways do you recognize that every sin in your life is a failure to love?
3) How does this chapter give you hope?
I'd love to hear your thoughts! You can do so in two ways...
*Leave a comment below, and feel free to discuss with others there!
*Write a blog post either answering these questions or with your own reactions to the chapter, and link up your blog post below! (Remember to add the title and url for the specific post and not your blog url and name. Thanks!)
And please grab this button if you are joining us so that others can find us here!
(It's not too late to read along. If you haven't purchased a copy of the book, you can do so here.)