Stop Second Guessing God’s Affection

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Stop Second Guessing God’s Affection

By Joseph Franks

Do you know how much you are loved? Well, this might blow your mind, but you have been eternally on God’s mind and heart. Yes, you have been the apple of his eye and the subject of his conversation for millenia. You were made in his image. You were made to commune with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Therefore, while you have been created to make much of God, God has created you to make much of you. While you should spend yourself enjoying God, he spends himself enjoying you. And while you exist to glorify him forever, God exists to glorify you. Yes, I did mean to say that. Yes, I know I am beginning to sound like Norman Vincent Peale, Joel Osteen, or Beth Moore, but I am also beginning to sound like the inspired Apostle Paul. Listen to him and tell me I am wrong:

Romans 8:28-30     And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God has looked down the corridor of time and has seen your sinful attitudes, thoughts, words, and deeds. Additionally, with his omniscient eye he has foreseen your incorrigible free will. Left to yourself, you will not relent and you will not repent.

However, despite knowing your sin and lack of repentance, God has foreknown you. He has seen your rankness and has purposed to go to work on your behalf.

He predestined you to receive Christ’s righteousness, be conformed to Christ’s image, and enjoy Christ’s family and benefits. Yes, before the foundation of the world, he elected and predestined you to greatness, and wrote your name in his Lamb’s Book of Life penned before creation.

God the Father then sent God the Son. He looked at his Son, loved his Son, and approved of all his attitudes, thoughts, words, and deeds. Twice, he contained himself not and exploded, “This is My Son in whom I am well pleased.” Then, on the appointed day, he brutally oversaw the slaughtering of his Son for you. The Father killed the Son to pay for all your transgressions — intentional and unintentional — past, present, and future.

God then began the process of calling you to himself. He called you through nature and your conscience, but you were not so impressed. He continued to call you through the Holy Scripture — read, preached, taught, sung, and acted out — but it hardly penetrated your skull, and when it did it seemed to go in one ear and out the other. However, he was graciously persistent, and through the Holy Spirit he most effectively courted you, convinced you, and finished his reviving work. When he was done, he had gifted you faith and repentance, and you found yourself able, willing, and desperately hungry to express your newfound faith and repentance to him and to others.

You were united with Jesus Christ.

You were declared just, holy, pure, blameless, and saintly by the Father.

You were filled, gifted, and further influenced by the Holy Spirit.

Instead of being a child of Satan, instead of being an enemy of God, instead of being a neighbor, you have become the bride of Christ, the brother of Christ, and the adopted son of God.

His righteousness has become yours. His family has become yours. His future inheritance has become yours, and so too has his glory. The Son prayed for such in the Garden of Gethsemane in John 17, and the Spirit inspired Paul to promise such in Romans 8, “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

Therefore friends, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “What then shall we say to these things?”

Romans 8:31-39     What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When the Moral Law shouts accusations at you and reminds you of your sin, shout back, “Christ’s righteousness is mine! There is no condemnation remaining for me.”

When moralists point judgmental fingers at you, tell them you were loved before you sinned, while you sinned, and now that you have sinned. Remind them your sainthood is rooted in the work of Jesus Christ and not works of the Law. Repent and then rejoice in the immutable love of your Savior.

When extra-biblical legalists question your standing with God — whether they be of the Fundamentalist or the Calvinist variety — tell them you do not have to keep their cultural rules or traditional preferences in order for God to smile, accept your worship, and respond with, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

When troubles and trials come your way, and when Satan and others use them to slander God and you, remind the Liar and his liars that God affectionately troubled Job, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Jesus, and almost all disciples found in the Sacred Record. Tell Lucifer and his false preachers that their “Prosperity Theology” is dungish.

When you find yourself disciplined and discipled as a consequence of your lawless sin, consider this a delight. For this is the promised response of the gracious, kind, and affectinate Heavenly Father towards his foolish children. He is not “harming” you because he is angry and light in love. No, he is “hurting” you and “helping” you because he is passionately in love with you — his sinful saint.

Friends, nothing has ever separated you from his tender mercies. His compassion endures forever and ever and ever. Therefore, whatever you are going through today, cease your second-guessing. The God you exist to glorify, he is glorifying you. He has massive affection for you. You are loved. You are his beloved.

 

Joe is Pastor of National Ministries and Church Revitalization at Briarwood church in Birmingham Alabama and Director of Embers To Flame. He also oversees New Church Plants and Urban Ministries.

Follow Joes Daily Devotions blog at https://josephfranks.wordpress.com/

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