Monday, June 6, 2011

Grace and Getting a Smile...

"The Gospel is not the message of what we must do to get a SMILE on the face of God.  It is the message about what HE HAS DONE to get a SMILE ON YOUR FACE.      The GOSPEL soooo gooood.  It reveals GOD! How can we then but LOVE HIM?"
                                                                                        Bertie Brits

Wow, I'd never thought of it that way before...what a wonderful truth!

This quote makes me think of the wonder of the gospel of grace!  It reminds me that God wasn't the One who had a problem and needed to be placated.  He has always loved us humans and has always been on our side, wanting us to know Him.  He has been longing for restored fellowship with us since that fateful day of the Fall back in Eden.  We were the ones with the problem - sin had altered our perception of God, and our shame and feelings of guilt were keeping us from approaching Him with any kind of confidence.  We couldn't understand or enjoy His love.  We were trapped in the confused and distorted lies of sin.

So He did everything possible to put that smile back on our face, that smile in knowing without a doubt we are loved and cared for by God.  While we were still sinners, He showed that love for us by Christ's own death for us.  He took upon Himself the guilt and shame we felt, took upon us that old sin nature that gave us such a distorted and erroneous view of God and which controlled us and brought us to ruin.  He took away every sin and reconciled us to God (not God to us, He always loved us and wanted us near!) - wow!

The whole work of the cross wasn't to get an angry God to finally calm down enough to tolerate having us in His presence without destroying us.  NO!  The whole point of the cross was to win our hearts back!  To open our eyes to the One who has loved us from eternity past, before there ever was a world, before we ever sinned, before anything.  To draw us back into His arms, the arms that long to hold us forever!

He thinks you're worth knowing.  You are a pearl of great price, so precious and valuable to Him that He gave up everything to have you with Him.  He thinks you're worth dying for!  The Love we've longed for all our life not only exists, it's ours right now and forever!  The gospel message isn't "do this or that and hope to get on His good side."  It's "All is forgiven, come home, I can't bear to be without you!"  Amazing love!  The gospel is such good news!  It truly does bring a smile to our face, and it is so true - how can we NOT love such a wonderful and beautiful God?

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14