Lies are like parasites. They cling to us and suck the life right out of us.
Each one of us has walked a journey through a jungle of lies that has shaped our personalities, relationships, and life. From our earliest memories, most of us, if we really think about it, can remember a particular lie or lies spoken over us which forever shaped our conception of who we are.
For me the primary lies were, “You’re ugly,” and “You’re not good enough.” These lies translated into another lie in my mind: “You’re not lovable.”
I suspect you received similar messages about your identity.
And it is on these lies that we began to build our life.
And it is on these lies (or the things we’ve done because of them), we, perhaps, have come to the conclusion that God couldn’t love us.
HUMANITY: GOD’S CHOICE
As we learned yesterday, humanity is God’s choice because we are the race suitable to be God’s eternal mate.
Of course in the slavery of our flesh we’re held captive and apart from our true Lover.
But… “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16)
God never got over us. No matter what slavery did to us. He still so loved us that he sent Jesus to rescue us.
In the redemption of Jesus, we’re given new land to live from, a new house to dwell in, we’ve returned from exile. That is, we’re given Christ as the new first of the new-human race we’re now part of. We’re free to come to God in Christ, and live in the very presence of our great Lover day in and day out.
WHAT FORGIVENESS IS
You and I think of forgiveness from a human perspective. We think of it as deciding to stop being angry at someone who’s wronged us.
So often, the Church has taken this human perspective of forgiveness and applied it to God.
The thing is, as we’ve learned, you and I must learn to understand every concept in the Bible from God’s perspective.
Because God very intentionally chose to inspire his Scriptures in the Hebrew and Greek languages, we look to those languages for clues to his intended meaning. The Greek word for forgiveness comes from a couple words which together mean “to let go, release.”
Friends, if you live under the lie that God couldn’t love you after all you’ve done, you don’t need him to stop being mad at you or disliking you, you need him to release you.
And if you’ve believed in Jesus, he already has. You just need to start believing his voice.
Before we believed in Jesus, you and I were bound by the law of the flesh. That is, the voice of the enemy master in our flesh. It was like our hands and feet were tied, and we were held captive in enemy territory. Like we were a prisoner of war.
But when we believed in Jesus, he untied those cords holding us in foreign territory. And he began to lead us with his cords of kindness. With the new law he put in us through the Spirit of God, the law of liberty.
The cords of the wicked have encircled me, But I have not forgotten Your law. (Ps. 119:61)
I drew them with gentle cords, With bands of love, And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them. (Hosea 11:4, NKJV)
Friends, no matter what you’ve done, who you’ve been, or what others may think of you, God loves you completely. He sees the master ruling your flesh, yes. But he wants to release you from the enemy holding you under these lies, and lead you by the gentle cords of his truth.
Because his truth sets us free. (John 8:32)
WHAT GRACE IS
The Greek word for “grace” comes from a word meaning “rejoice, be glad”, and it carries the idea of pleasure, delight, or favor for something or someone.
At Jesus’ baptism, God’s audible voice could be heard declaring, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.”
The moment we were recreated as a new-human in the race of his Son is the moment God’s pleasure in Jesus was passed on to us.
We not only have been released from captivity, we have the outlandish favor of God on us to enter his courts any time we’d like (following protocol of course). And in so entering, we have access to the fountain of Life as often as we need and wish.
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16)
Friends, God doesn’t love you based on your behavior or a clean past. He loves you based on the fact that you’re human. Your association with his Son (and not your behavior) is what gains you release from the enemy’s lies and access to the very storehouses of God.
This means then, that God really could love you.
And indeed, he does.
Oh he does so much!
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