I have been listening to my teachers and pastors speak about our relationship with God for some years now and slowly the drip, drip of this Gospel teaching is wearing through the hard rock that is my heart. The tape that we all have in our heads runs a certain default message again and again through our minds and it can be a blessing or a curse depending on the message.
Unfortunately for most of us the message is negative and we spend our lives trying to change the messages or simply get the messages to stop. My reoccurring message is a denial of the finished work of Christ. I consistently fail to believe that God isn’t displeased with me most of the time, except when I’m faithfully having my quiet time, being pleasant to my wife, not kicking the puppies, etc.
What R.C. in particular has stressed over and over is that the work of Jesus on the cross is complete. There is nothing left for Him to do for us in that regard. We have been made right with God. When we approach His throne, he, like the Prodigal’s father, comes running to us:
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fatted calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate.
So then R.C. tells me that God loves me as much as He loves Jesus! Now wait a minute, maybe, for a brief minute I can begin to grasp the concept that God loves me some, sometimes. But as much as Jesus? That would demand a lifetime of gratitude, not guilt! Hmm…
Originally published in Every Thought Captive magazine, 2007.