Let your Abba love you to life!

lostandfoundDo you allow yourself to compare yourself with another, fantasizing about what it would be like to have their life instead of yours?  Wishing we were taller or thinner or more intelligent or more gregarious – and the list goes on – leads to misery.  Even worse, if we think we can construct an image that others will like better than our true self, we will turn into an actor, a slave to the opinions of others, our happiness subject to the whims and fashions of an ever changing world. Our lives will be marred by a terrible insecurity which is fertile soil where all kinds of wrong choices can take root and grow into destructive behaviors. A person without healthy self-esteem finds it all but impossible to accept real love, believing himself unworthy of it.

We are not all that we could be and our desire to be loved is created in us. Sin is real. Guilt is not just imagined. That is why we need the Gospel! The Gospel of Christ, is about the worth that He gives to us, a message of God’s love for all of us. Broken by life, scarred by our sinful choices, we often feel regret and remorse. We wish we could be different. And, we can! “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. . .  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:8,10, NKJV)  God meets us at our need and invites us to transformation through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

My favorite parable is about a young man who was a terrible person- selfish, rebellious, without respect, who wasted his life and fortune. He broke his father’s heart by demanding his inheritance before his Dad was dead, took off for the big city, where he ‘squandered his wealth in wild living.’  When he hit bottom, he remembered his father’s house. Thinking he was beyond being loved, he hatched a plan to go home and just ask for employment, forget being a son! “He got right up and went home to his father. “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ “But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.” (Luke 15:20-24, The Message)

Every time I read that story, strong emotion wells up inside of me. Why? Because it is my story. I was that young man, ignoring my Father’s love, wasting the inheritance He gave to me. I was once convinced that His love was not for me, but then – at my worst His grace found me and I was invited to be a son, not a hired hand. I heard His whisper, “I love you, son, not because you’re good enough, but because I am perfect and good and kind.”  And, my insecurities were healed, by sins forgiven, my regrets eclipsed by the bright promise of a future He has written for me.

And, it can be your story, too. Great or small, rich or poor, beautiful or not, loved or not, full of regret over some ‘big’ sin or nagged by guilt over hundreds of hidden ones – we all need to be loved back to whole lives by our Father. Jesus’ story about that wayward son concludes with another part, not nearly so hopeful.  The older brother saw all the singing and dancing and grew resentful. “Why does my father love that ingrate who stole so much from him? I am the good son, I am the one who has been here every day, doing my duty.” And he sulked!  The sad fact was that the ‘good son’ really did not understand the Father’s love any more than his brother did.  Maybe your life is respectable to all appearance. Perhaps you have done all the right things and enjoy the esteem of others, but inside you still hunger for real intimacy.  God knows our deepest secrets and says that if we ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness we will be filled.’

Let God love you to life today!  Reject the fear, the insecurity, the need to do more.  Invite Jesus to heal your heart and restore your self-esteem. And, become a person of beauty, in Him.

Here is a word from the Word. “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” (Abba = Daddy, an intimate relationship) For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16, NLT)

“And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” (Galatians 4:6-7, NLT)

_________

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

How deep the Father’s love for us

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory

 

Behold the Man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished

 

I will not boast in anything

No gifts no pow’r no wisdom

But I will boast in Jesus Christ

His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom

 

Stuart Townend

© 1995 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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