Faith, Living loved

The Unshakable Security of Christ’s Love

rock cleft background with words pulled from post

Jesus should’ve given up on me long ago. I gave up on myself, especially during my teen years, when I spent more time drunk than sober, and filled with enough anger to emotionally combust.

But each day, God pursued me and lovingly drew me until, eventually, His gentle and persistent love soothed my inner angst and healed the hurt it came from. He always offers us more grace and patience than we’d ever offer ourselves, and His staying power far exceeds ours. I know this, but in moments of doubt or discouragement, or when my pride wins out over obedience, I can easily forget.

God's love for me is based on who He is, not what I've done, and my salvation rests on what He's done, not what I haven't. Click To Tweet

In Christ, I am held secure.

I never fully understood God’s heart for me, and the power and strength emerging from it, until I became a parent. But having walked beside my daughter through nearly a lifetime of good, bad, the obedient, and at times, flat-out rebellious, I’ve caught a better, deeper, picture of my Father’s heart—a heart that never lets go, never gives up, and will in no way ever turn away.

When our daughter was seven or eight, we moved across the country from Southern California to Bossier City, Louisiana, a transition she struggled with. Though initially, we were oblivious to her pain—seven-year-olds aren’t often able to express their emotions—we soon became alert to a drastic change of behavior. Our normally cheerful, affectionate little girl had become sullen and angry.

I was confused and concerned.

One afternoon, she grew quite upset with me (for reasons I can’t remember), shouted, “I hate you!” and slammed her bedroom door.

That was the first, and perhaps last, time she’d ever said something like that to me, and it broke my heart. But not for the reasons you may assume.

My heart broke because I knew hers was breaking. Beneath her anger and harsh words, I saw her pain, and in that moment, what I longed for most was to draw her near and hold her close.

Throughout my faith journey, I’ve displayed a similar response toward God as she had to me, numerous times. Like when my friend was dying, and I struggled to reconcile my circumstances with what I knew regarding God’s love, power, and sovereignty. Once my emotions settled down, guilt and fear followed. Had my anger angered God?

Had I—or would I—do something that would drive Him away for good?

But each time, not only did He remain. But He took giant, loving steps toward me.

God holds me secure, and His love will always remain. Unshakable. Immovable. Solid and sure. Click To Tweet
mountain background with words pulled from text

How securely are your feet planted in grace? When doubts and insecurities arise regarding God’s heart for you, how might pausing to remember who He is, rather than what you have or haven’t done, help you rest in His embrace? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another.

For those wanting to learn how to more fully embrace their Christ-centered identity and rest in His grace, grab a free copy of our study, Becoming His Princess. You can do so HERE. And make sure to join us for one of our upcoming Fully Alive conferences to learn how to connect on a deeper level with your Savior and live vibrantly alive in every moment. Find out more and how to register HERE. Want us to join you for your next women’s event? Contact us for more information or to schedule a time to chat by phone HERE.

 

 

.

 

Showing love

Living Out God’s Crazy Love

I hope someone has told you how crazy you are or recently given you a baffled look. There’s no doubt that we live in a society overrun with comparison and consumed by peer opinion. But Christian, what people say of us shouldn’t fit the mold. As the public watches us live for God’s glory, they should see a bit of crazy.

As I read through 1st and 2nd Corinthians my heart was curious what Paul’s audience thought of his actions inspired by God.

I wonder if they were shaken that Paul would endure beatings and imprisonments for the sake of the gospel. Perhaps they thought he was a little strange choosing to be a nomad, walking the globe, telling people about Jesus. Did they think he was wrong for preaching love and faith in a time of persecution?

Paul hints that the Corinthians couldn’t quite understand such a bold and divinely purposed way of life. Image of a laughing woman with verse 2 Cor. 5:13He wrote, “If we are out of our mind it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you” (2 Corinthians 5:13 NIV).

If my life looks picture perfect to the world, who am I living for?

If my life looks picture perfect to the world, who am I living for?

This hits a chord in my heart. How many times have I sought the world’s good opinion instead of my Father’s—sought my glory instead of His? If my life looks picture perfect to the world, who am I living for? Whose purposes am I seeking? But if our lives look strangely different than the world in a faith-filled, exhilarating, divinely loving, powerfully reaching kind of way; perhaps it is a glimmer that we are living for God’s sake instead of our own.

Seeming ‘out of our mind’ to the world is a small price to pay for living out divine love in Christ. But that leaves the question of ‘Why?’ I think the Corinthians were wondering the same about Paul and his gang. What in the world would make mere men live so boldly?

Paul explained to them, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV).

Knowing the depth of God’s love has the power to change a person. When you understand that God loved you enough to jump in front of the death train for you, it gives your life importance.

When you understand that God loved you enough to jump in front of the death train for you, it gives your life importance.

As we let the truth of the cross and the love of Christ permeate to the hidden parts of our soul, we can’t help but have a new perspective on what is important in life. When you understand that God loved you enough to exchange His life for yours, it gives your life importance. And that importance gives way to a new purpose—to live extravagantly for the one who took your place. This is not out of obligation, but out of complete and utter thankfulness and joy as we live in such a love.

Paul puts it another way saying, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:56-58 NIV).

We handed God our sin and death, and in return he showered us in victory and life! And Paul says in thankfulness of that amazing and undeserved switch taking us from the losing team to the winning team, we know that every battle we sweat in the name of Jesus on this earth will be victorious. And that makes us bold. It makes us act a little different.

Living in Christ’s unconditional love helps us live out life-changing love to others.

His love urges us to forgive instead of condemn, encourage when we see sorrow, keep peaceful words on our lips when attacked, and speak truth in love when it’s hard. It makes us desire to live for others like Christ lived for us.

It makes us want to live a bit ‘out of our mind’ for Christ knowing our purpose is found in Him and not in the opinions of this world.

Let’s talk about this. How do you see your life choices changing as you know Jesus more and more?

What do you feel He is asking you to do in response to His love for you even if it might look crazy to the people around you? Join the conversation here in the comments below or on our Facebook page, because we can all learn from and encourage one another! And make sure to join us for one of Wholly Loved’s upcoming conferences. Explore how you are wholly loved, purposed, and unique in Christ and how knowing that empowers you to be bold and brave in His name! Find out more HERE.

Stay up to date on all our ministry happenings and receive great, free content sent directly to your inbox by signing up for our quarterly newsletter. You can do so HERE.