“We can love Jesus since we are loved by Jesus, so we can love for Jesus.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 10, 2021
He gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. James 4:6-8, NLT
My wife Rita and I have a friend who has suffered with low-level depression for the past five years. It simmers below the surface of her life sapping her energy and telling her lies about her true self (accepted and beloved without needing to do anything). Fortunately, she has remained in God’s Word, leaned into a community of Christ followers who love her unconditionally and is physically under a physician’s care. And beautifully, though gradually—like a pruned fruit tree, she is beginning to blossom, while ascending out of her abyss of doubt and despair. God drew near!
The apostle James watched his heavenly Father draw near to Jesus during the most excruciating time of his brother’s time on earth. On the cross when Christ felt the most alone and abandoned, his Father came closer with an even more profound presence and an all-encompassing love. The deeper the loneliness, the wider the door opens for the Lord’s love to enter in with engaging fellowship, while offering immense freedom. The Father drew near to Jesus with generous grace.
My true spiritual work is to let myself be loved, fully and completely, and to trust that in that love I will come to the fulfillment of my vocation. I keep trying to bring my wandering, restless, anxious self home, so that I can rest there in the embrace of love. Henri Nouwen
Give in to God’s love and draw near to Him—as He instantly draws near to you with generous grace and healing love. He gives you exactly what you need, when you need it—if you allow Him. Never give up on God because He never gives up on you. His love is not only tolerant, but patient and forgiving. Your submission to His love is an expression of your humble heart. Resist the devil, submit and draw near to God, so that your pride is not in play and sin scurries away. Humility is your superpower to be able to discern the truth of your identity—beloved by God.
Some days I forget who I am—a beloved child of God—created and called to love Jesus. I can love Jesus, since I am loved by Jesus, so I can love for Jesus. The enemy wants me to bypass being who I am so he can deceive me into acting like who I’m not: unloved, unaccepted and alone. By grace, in my best moments—I give in to the Lord’s love, especially when He seems far away. On cue—He comes close to me. Love reminds me: no need to fear when God draws near.
“But Christ, because he lives forever, possesses a priesthood that needs no successor. This means that he can save fully and completely those who approach God through him, for he is always living to intercede on their behalf” (Hebrews 7:25, Phillips).
Heavenly Father, give me the courage and faith to draw near to you, especially when I feel you are far way, through Christ’s love, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Write on an index card, “Beloved and accepted by God”, and set the card in a spot you can see several times a day to remind you who you are made to be by the Lord.
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