Little thoughts about life: This Jesus


See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 (NLT)
I've set out this excellent year of 2011 to discover more about Christ and have not been disappointed. At the end of January, and now starting February, I find myself surprised, delighted and amazed at just how awesome Christ is and was.  There's so much joy in the knowledge that our Savior is in control of our circumstances, and yet weeps with us through trials and rejoices with us in our triumphs.

All my life I've struggled with performance. As a PK (pastor's kid) there was a continual pressure to make sure to not do anything that would cause my family or myself a reputation we wouldn't want to have. I think that in effort to protect our family from the potential heartache that comes with ministry, my parents worked hard to teach us and train us to perform well under the eyes of those that were quick to point out our failures. I think I'm not alone in this. I don't think its a issue that plagues just us 'ministry kids;' I think any individual that has claimed to be living a life for Christ finds themselves under scrutiny. Never the less, this idea of performing and performing well has influenced my walk with Christ for many years.

Often I find myself trying to earn my salvation, and if not my salvation then I've bought in to the idea that after he saved me, now I have to make sure I never screw up again. The idea of failing him (which I clearly have already done) is a huge issue for me. .

A few days ago I was thinking about this issue. I was thinking to myself how even when I try to not perform, that in itself is a form of performance. Stressed with this idea, and feeling yet again like I've failed, I heard His voice in my heart asking me a question. " How do you pay your dad back for giving you life?"

I was struck at the oddity of the question, and simply answered "I don't. I can't"
I then heard the reply, "Then why do you keep trying to pay me back for giving you eternal life?"

This small sentence has really changed the way I've seen my Lord. My physical father and I have a really strong relationship. I know in my heart he always has had my best interest at heart because I am his child. I know he has a pride in me, not from my accomplishments, but in the fact that I am part of his family. I delight in living a life that lines with the precepts of my youth and I find contentment in knowing that I honor him. There's a pride I take in being a 'Thompson.' My actions are not to win my dad's approval, because he's already given it to me. I strive to do good, from his love and acceptance, not for it.

It is from this concept of my own earthly dad that I'm beginning to deepen my understanding of our Savior or our eternal Father. My dad's unconditional love, in the midst of discipline, the idea that he always knows whats best for me, the knowledge he has wisdom and he won't lead me astray, all these things that my dad has exampled, have such a far reaching depth when I consider the depths of how Christ loves us. 

 I know not everyone has an example like this. Actually, very few of my friends have had a father challenge them to delve deeper into Christ or even to pursue Christ at all. This concept of Jesus being a 'father' makes it hard for them to even consider approaching him, especially if what Christ is, is like what their dad was....

I don't really know what to say to that, except that Christ really is the answer. He loves us like better than any earthly dad could and guides us and watches out for us in such a deep way its remarkable. Christ doesn't screw up, leave our moms, or tell us we won't amount to anything. In fact, he tells us that, if we put our trust in Him, we won't be defeated and then, when we fail..He covers our failures with his blood and he takes on the punishment of those failures so we don't have to. He completely wipes them away and the things we once did and were aren't true about us anymore.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21

I really love Jesus. I love the sweet message he brings to me, and how refreshing and reassuring that message is to someone who has lived her life feeling she may screw up just enough and not be enough to be granted his salvation, or his approval. I love that this same message is true for someone who feels they have done too many things in opposition to Christ to ever be back in his grace.  The fact that we can never ever do anything that puts us out of his love. That all we have to do is accept that love and grace and embrace him as our Savior and Lord. That before I had ever acknowledge him and was living my life completely contrary to him...he loved me still and died for me still.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romance 5:8

I love that Christ sees me as I am, everyday and still finds me precious and perfect in Him, while knowing where I am failing. I love the way he moves in my life to show me those areas where I haven't put him first, where I'm not living my life the way He's called us to.

The fact that our God is not Dead, that he is Alive and in fact, he has no expiration date; his wisdom is still valid, and is still all powerful. The fact that he's thought out ever last detail,  like remembering to bring breath into my lungs and to give me the makeup to trigger joyful feelings when great experiences happen in my life, all of this makes me conclude: We serve a good God. He doesn't forget the hurting, the dying, the broken. He allows us to rejoice and find joy in life, He carries us through and showers his peace and mercy all around us.

He hasn't forgotten about you,
or me
and the fact is its never, ever, too late to run to him.

..this Jesus is the only true example of genuine unconditional love, I hope we don't go through our whole life, not allowing ourselves to experience the awesome love he offers. I hope that I don't settle for just enough of Jesus, so that I don't have to give up anything I don't want to. I hope when that day comes you and I can take joy that we have on earth felt the utmost fulfillment of Christ that we could, and that we can be so pumped at what lies ahead after this life: getting to experience his awesomeness all the more. This Jesus is all we ever hoped a savior would be and then more.

woo! I love Jesus.

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