Freedom from/Freedom to: Freed to Love VIII.mp3
Stir it up! – PDF
- Deut. 30:6
- II Thess. 3:5
- Luke 15:1-7 (lost sheep)
- Luke 15:8-10 (lost coin)
- Luke 15:11-32 (lost son – prodigal)
This week we simply reviewed and added to last week’s message.
We are now on our 8th week of teaching on the love of God and we have not even begun to scratch the surface of what needs to be covered.
In these examples we can see both ourselves and our Father God. The truths revealed in these parables speak to the point and purpose of creation itself and allows us to peer into the very heart of God.
Jesus goes out of His way to state the same truth via three separate parables in which every social order and gender is addressed. He wanted NO ONE to escape the importance of this lesson.
So what was the lesson?
– You are valued, love and pursued by God.
– By “you” I mean – you specifically! Not just anyone, but you!
– God knows the 1 sheep as distinct from the other 99.
– He knows you as distinct from those He simply runs into on the hillside.
– He knows YOU and deliberately drops everything in pursuit of YOU!
Of course you understand that God does not have to “stop everything” in order to pursue you – any more than He has to leave the 99 in order to go and pursue the one.
God is omni-PRESENT and omni-POTENT. He is the ultimate multitasker!
Jesus used this example to deliberately stress your importance to God.
You are known and worthy of pursuit!
These are the statements Jesus makes of our status before God. He does not white wash our brokenness or our wasteful (prodigal) self pursuits.
In fact, He deliberately brings up our being pursued and valued in the middle of a story ABOUT OUR WASTEFUL SELF PURSUITS.
Why did He do this?
To stress that it is not about what you’ve done, but about Who He is.
He created YOU fully aware of the fall – YOUR fall!
God knew that on the day He breathed His life-giving breath into the clay that was mankind – He was as good as dead…and He did it ON PURPOSE ANYWAY!
So in a manner of speaking, you were designed for pursuit.
Don’t get me wrong – you were not designed for the fall, but for pursuit.
Marriage is a picture of the Divine romance. In that example we flesh out in the drama of our every day lives – God is represented by the Husband/Father.
What were Adam’s words concerning his union with his bride?
“….she is now flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone”
She is LIKE me.
She is compatible with me!
She was made FOR me!
God said that we were made in HIS IMAGE, the desire He placed in Adam for Eve was a representation of His insatiable love and desire for us.
“For this reason a MAN shall leave and cleave (to stick with & pursue) his wife”
She is wonderful!
I long for her fellowship!
I desire her company!
I find delight in her!
I adore her!
God will never leave us or forsake us (He clings) and He pursues us all the days of our lives.
This notion of being loved and pursued does not require the wife to play hard to get. It is a condition of being.
God, loves His creation and it makes no sense that He wouldn’t – because He designed us – knowing the fall would happen.
He did not design us so that the fall would somehow make us unworthy of His pursuit! (That would be poor planning on His part.)
A flawed design implies a flawed Designer!
Remember the words to the song ‘I am new’ by Jason Gray….
“Who I thought I was and who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
’cause neither were willing to ever believe
I am not who I was, I’m being remade
I am New
I’m chosen and holy and I’m dearly loved
I am new
too long have I lived in the shadows of shame
believing there was no way I could change
but the One Who is making everything new
doesn’t see me the way that I do!”
I Am NEW.mp3 [Sample]
More to the story…
The story never ends with ‘US’ as the focal point.
God’s word tells us we should not deceive ourselves into thinking we live in a microcosm of one. Where our lives revolve around our own perceived experience.
This is perhaps realized in no greater why than in our subjective views of religious fulfillment.
If you “feel” close to God, and yet hold unforgiveness or bitterness or hatred against your brother, you are deceived about your intimacy with God. To draw near to God IS to draw near to your brother. You cannot choose between them because God is one with them too.
- I Jn. 2:9,11
- I Jn. 3:15
- I Jn. 4:20
This is important because so many of us live from our emotions. We decide whether we are close to God or far away (not in actual distance, but in relation to intimacy) based upon our emotions. However, you can “feel” close and yet be walking in darkness and outside of fellowship. This is why God warns us to not be deceived.