Saturday, October 1, 2011

Joy that Strengthens Our Hearts

"It is essential for us to think about God's love today, because it is only his love that can grant us the joy that will strengthen our hearts, the courage that will embolden us in our fight against sin and the assurance that will enable us to open up our lives to him so he may deal powerfully with our unbelief and idolatry. If we're not completely convince that is loves is ours right now-fully and unalterable ours-we'll always hide in the shadows, focusing on our performance, fearing his wrath....Our faith will become all about us, our performance and how we think we're doing, and our transformation will be hindered" Because He loves me, Elyse Fitzpatrick pg 24

What great yearning overflowed in the imprisoned, bound Paul and caused him to daily implore the God of heaven? He prayed that the Gentiles in Ephesus would be throughly and utterly convinced of God's boundless love for them.

Ephesiah 3: 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Our fears. Our idols. Our "self-image". The thing that swallows up all of these is the extensive, extravagant, undeserved, unalterable love of Christ. Maybe this is why that we are called to remember the Lord. So often, it was forgetting-even directly after a deliverance- that led Israel to worship other gods...that were not gods at all (Acts 7:38-43).

No striving to be accepted. No fear of falling out of favor. The newlyweds oblivious to all but their pure love. The little girl reveling in her father's smile. The son shadowing his Papa. Just a heart so overwhelmed with His undeserved, unmerited love that our hearts, behavior, attitude, values and actions are mirror his love.

May our joy spring out of a heart completely and totally convinced of his great love.