God’s Love

The Simple Truth

by Susie Klein



                               

The Simple Truth
If I could only write to you one more time, I would tell you this little story.

I sat in large circle with the rest of our church staff. I was with my favorite friends doing one of my favorite things. We were praying for one another and listening for the individual messages that God wanted to share with each person in the circle. We loved that God still speaks and this trusted group of people enjoyed the freedom to be His messengers with one another.

I listened to the prayers and messages given to my friends. “The Father has designed you to carry influence with governmental leaders.” “God is going to use you to help free women from the slave-market.” “You are so full of creativity. You will be using your painting and artistic ability to glorify God.”

Now it was my turn. I close my eyes to concentrate and be able to hear every word that God wants to speak to me. “Wow Susie, God just really, really loves you! Every thought of you brings Him deep pleasure.”

WHAT?! Of course God loves me. He loves everyone! That’s the very first song we learn as little kids in Sunday school! Yes, Jesus loves me, this I know. It is the most basic, foundational truth we all know! I already KNOW this. Where is my big prophetic message?

This same scenario played out many times over in my life. I kept hearing the same message from God, over and over again. “God loves you so much!” I was getting a bit grumpy about it, to be honest. Where was my big direction for my life? What did God design me to do?

Finally this slow learner caught on. The single most important message that I can share with you is that God loves you. It is a simple message. And it is a very difficult message. God knew that I did not believe it completely. He saw me rushing around, working hard in the church to gain His love and acceptance. So the only message He kept sending me was that I am loved.

The reason we have a hard time believing this truth is this; we think that God’s love is like our love. Our love for one another can shift and change and grow and shrink. As much as we say that our love is unconditional, I’m not sure we can live it honestly. But His love IS unconditional. Completely without strings.

We cannot outrun it or escape it. God is delighted with his children. All of us. He sees the good, the bad and the ugly, and still He loves with abandon. Our actions simply do not affect His love toward us. If God could love us more on some days than on others, it would mean that His love is conditional and less than perfect. Are you willing to make that accusation of him?

“I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in His love, may have power, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3: 17-19 NIV

Ephesians 3: 18 to 19 reminds us to seek to know the love of God, which is too much for us to understand. This passage is a call to get out of our minds. It is a challenge to those of us who tend to over-think and ultra-analyze our every waking moment. My desire to have everything understood and figured out can hold me back from grasping His love because it is simply too big for me to comprehend.

If we wait until we can understand God’s love, we will never be able to truly enjoy it and rest in it. God’s love for you is limitless, without boundaries or borders of any kind. Another Bible version says, “understanding the love of Christ which passes understanding.”

Sadly, many of us miss out on the fun of His love because we are using our heads to believe it. Remember the Ephesians passage? His love will not fit in our heads. It does not compute. It makes no sense. It is illogical. We are to seek to know the love of God because He wants us to know Him better. His love is who He is. There is no separation between God and the love of God, it is not a part of Him, it IS Him. God IS love.

So Dear Reader, the simple message you are here to gain today is just this…God loves you! He loves you completely and without reservation, today, at this moment. Thanks for allowing me to be the carrier of this important message today!



                               

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Love Defined

heart is in my hands from Flickr via Wylio© 2007 Shimelle Laine, Flickr | CC-BY  | via Wylio

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it: we buy up candy and cards and scour the internet for pin-worthy Valentine’s mailboxes because card companies tell us to. And for me, Valentine’s Day is never the greatest celebration of my husband’s and my love. The moments that resonate deep down in my core don’t have anything to do with candy hearts. Long talks. The bag of honeycrisp apples that weren’t on the grocery list but he brought home anyway. Fixing his favorite foods for supper instead of mine.

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A Post Valentine’s Day Look at Love

  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us… 1 John 3:16

I had finally poured myself into the welcoming comfort of my bed and was drifting off to sleep, satisfied after a long and tiring day of chores, to do’s and errands when he finally arrived.

He crouches low, to my level, seeing if I am awake. He’s got his hands behind his back and that gleam in his eyes I know well, and adore. I peek back at him with heavy lids, grateful he is home as we are being pelted by one in a series of snowstorms this winter season.

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When the Waiting Gets to Be Too Hard

Psalm 62.5I remember as a child waiting in anticipation for my birthday or for Christmas to arrive. Time moved slowly and the waiting dragged on forever.

As an adult, that time moves much more quickly. It seems like Christmas is around the corner again before last year’s gifts are put away. And birthdays…well, each one is not quite as exciting anymore. The anticipated wait doesn’t drag anymore. Now it flies by.

Waiting for the calendar page to turn—that’s not so hard. Unless time ends, one month will flow into the next, guaranteed.

But waiting on God? It. Is. Hard. Some days waiting on God feels impossible.

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New Life in Jesus Christ

Stock photo. Spring Crocus 3
Spring has always been my favorite season. I like that although 50 degrees in the fall feels cold, in the spring it feels like a heat wave. And with the warmer air, there’s hope that winter is nearing its end.

Spring reminds me of new life—buds on the trees, flowers peeking through the ground, the subtle shift of everything turning from brown to green…

And the new life we have in Jesus Christ.

New life because Jesus took on our punishment, and through His death and resurrection, we are set free from sin.

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many.

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We Are Not Defined By Our Mistakes

PHOT0014.JPGIn a recent conversation in the office, we were laughing that no matter how many times we proof a document, it seems a typo or error will be found just after the e-mail has been sent or 1,000 copies have been printed.

“I always wonder what mistake I’ll be remembered for,” someone remarked. Light-heartedly, I said, “We are not defined by our mistakes.”

But, as I walked away I kept thinking about it. Isn’t that something we all need to be reminded of?

We are not defined by our mistakes.

Yes, some can be real doozies, and some mistakes are remembered for quite a while.

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Something New Has Begun

Something New Has Begun 5MfF 12.12.13 pic

Advent is the season of waiting expectantly and preparing our hearts for the arrival of Baby Jesus. We reflect on the miraculous conception, the birth in lowest of conditions, and the fulfillment of the prophecy…

…the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). Isaiah 7:14 (NLT)

We rejoice on Christmas morning—Christ is born!

And then…Christmas is over. Or at least that’s how it feels. We put the Christmas decorations away and go back to our busy lives as usual.

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When Advent Feels Out of Your Grasp

Can you hear it?

The gentle cadence of everyday marvels: the plink of the first quarter into a tin bucket at the lemonade stand; the buzz of the doorbell announcing a friend’s arrival; the beep of the timer in an oven with chocolate chip cookies inside.

Can you feel it?

The rhythmic beat sweet baby kisses on your cheek; knit socks hugging your feet; streams of sunlight on your face.

Can you see it?

The harmony of a rainbow spectrum in a rain puddle; a toddler’s extra long eyelashes; a fresh dusting of snow.

He’s singing over you.

He will quiet you with His love.

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