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Monday, September 7, 2009

Love Never Leaves

When I first became a parent, I had no idea I would learn so much about God from my children. I thought I would be there to guide them into His heart. Little did I know that it would be they, who guided, me.

As they have grown over the years, so have I. My husband and I started out with behavior modification parenting. It was common to hear those around us talk of “breaking the will of the child”. Breaking the will seemed to be an accomplishment that would bring obedience. We set out to make that happen. I shudder even now as I think about it.

The sad reality is, we believed God was the same way. That is until He summoned us to enter into true, authentic relationship. In that place love is the motivating factor, not behavior modification.

I discovered something. God wasn’t after my will. He was after my heart. Obedience wasn’t the most important thing to Him, love was.

It was in that place I began to learn something new. God will never be disappointed with me. His heart aches to hold me close. In sin I separate myself from Him. He exposes it in order to bring me back into His embrace.

For He knows that my perception of what He thinks of me changes when I am captured by sin.

There is never guilt, condemnation or accusation. There is only, always, love, mercy and grace. He reveals to return me to where I was meant to be. My sin is not His focus. I am. He didn't come to make me perfect. He came to give me life. Sin destroys life.

When I entered the world of motherhood, I thought I would bring my babies into the world and love them. It all sounded so simplistic. Yet, it wasn’t. There were times when a child would stray off the path and look in other directions. Choices that cost them were made. I ached as I watched. I prayed, I waited to welcome them back in. All I wanted was to love them. Didn’t they know that? They judged my heart by the way they felt about themselves.

He thought He would bring me into this world and love me. I have often taken wrong turns. I’ve gotten off the beaten path. I looked for love in all the wrong places. Yet, He doesn’t see me covered in my sin. He sees me in a robe of righteousness. He does not separate from me when I choose to return to sin. He is not angered or even disappointed with me. His response is always the same. He pursues me to come back home.

Like the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son, He runs to meet me when I return to be held. For just as I could never turn away from my children because of my unending love, He cannot turn from me. His heart is filled with a love that cannot be measured or challenged. It is from everlasting to everlasting, not based on conditions or behavior.

He knew I would be imperfect. He knew that the lures of this world would pull me in. For when He created the earth, He knew my sins, past, present and future. He couldn’t bear for me to separate myself from Him. He devised a plan. It was His plan of rescue.

The cross has been misunderstood. It’s not about sin. It’s about love. Jesus’ blood was spilled to annihilate that which separated us from entering in as sons and daughters. Because of love He paid the ransom note to bring us back into the embrace of God. He came to restore us to life, to the full. It was the life He always meant for us before sin entered into mankind. Love was the motivating factor of the cross. His love for you.

There has never been a time when I did not love my children. There is absolutely nothing that they could do that would change that. I see beyond the choices they make. I love.

There will never be condemnation or disappointment with God. There is always and only love. Love welcomes you back. With arms wide open, it runs out to meet you, to restore you to where you were meant to be, in the arms of God.

Sin is not His focus. You are.

You can find Julie at her blog: Jewelz Sightings

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Blogger Denise said...

So very, very beautiful.

September 7, 2009 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger said...

Thank You. This wrapped around my heart gently and uplifted me.

September 7, 2009 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Need More Words said...

Why do we forget the simple message that God is Love.
This is a beautiful post. Thank you.

September 7, 2009 at 8:35 PM  
Anonymous alisa said...

Gosh! God has been teaching me a lot about love! It doesn't come naturally to me to love others (besides family and friends), but God has been doing a good work in me.

I prayed several years ago that God would help me to love others, and He really came through for me! I am still learning and will continue to learn until the day I sit at His feet.

Your devotional echoed my heart! Thank you!!!

September 7, 2009 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Ever So Chic Vintage Jewelry said...

This is beautiful. So many of us forget the simple scripture "God is love."
It makes me remember that as a child I had a scarey feeling about who God really was. I did not grow up in a church like I am in now. I did not learn to have a one-on-one relationship with the Lord there. I did not understand that God wants to be my "friend" as well as, my Heavenly Father.
I did not learn to pray without ceasing in that place as a child. But, thankfully, God led me to a place where I could learn these things and I have tried to pass them on not only to my own children, but to my friends and family. It is important that others see the "love of God" in us and through our actions.
Thank you for this beautiful devotional. I have passed it on to many in my family and friend group. Hopefully it will touch their hearts, just as it touched mine. God bless, Julie!

September 7, 2009 at 11:56 PM  

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