You Shall Not...

The old covenant law contained many "shall nots" which had a purpose that is now fulfilled. We are not under that old legislation anymore. Now we are under the new covenant where God provides all for us as a gift and we are free in Him. This covenant also contains some "shall nots" - yet they are so different from the old "shall nots" - rather than making me feel depressed and guilty, they make me feel safe and warm and joyful in Him! They are focused on our secure relationship with God rather than our erratic behavior, for the New Covenant has a relationship focus and not a works focus. These are the "shall nots" I have found in the new covenant. I only used Jesus' words in John. I'm sure if I looked through the rest of the New Testament, I could find many more! Anyway, here are those "shall nots" that I found:

His promises to us in the New Covenant of grace:

1 - You SHALL NOT hunger, but shall be fully satisfied with Him (John 6:35).

2 - You SHALL NOT thirst, but shall have within His very Spirit as an ever-flowing fountain of eternal life (John 4:14).

3 - You SHALL NOT walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).

4 - You SHALL NOT be a slave to sin or the devil's lies, but shall be free indeed (John 8:32-36).

5 - You SHALL NOT perish, but shall have everlasting life (John 3:16).

6 - You SHALL NOT be snatched from His hand, but shall be safe (John 10:27-8).

7 - You SHALL NOT come into judgment, but have already passed from death to life (John 5:24).

8 - You SHALL NOT follow a stranger, but shall know and follow your Shepherd (John 10:4-5).

9 - You SHALL NOT have your joy stolen, but shall rejoice with great joy (John 16:22).

10 - SHALL NOT be left desolate, but shall have the His Spirit with you always to comfort you (John 14:16-18)!

With His very Spirit inside us as our best friend and LIFE, holding us, loving us, keeping us, living through us AS us, how can we go wrong? If God is for us, who can be against us? We shall not be put to shame but will always be led in triumph, love and grace! All as a gift through Jesus' work for us and His wonderful grace, not ever through our efforts! What a wonderful covenant the New Covenant is!

The Cross - Where Love Silenced the Lying Voice of Shame

The voice of shame is such a terrible voice because it doesn't just accuse us of doing wrong and therefore guilty, it actually accuses of of BEING wrong and therefore worthless..not worthy to be loved, without any dignity, deserving no care or consideration..shameful and embarrassing, rejected and unwanted, not fit for God's presence, 'good for nothing.'  What a lie!  I believed this lie for so many years. I am seeing more and more how the cross dispels such a lie of unworth and shame.  The cross stands as a testimony of our amazing worth to God and of how much we deserve to be loved, cared for and rescued!

The cross says God loves and accepts us even in the midst of any sin...thus, the cross not only assures us of God's love but puts to death any lies or accusations that we are unworthy, shameful, or rejected..for the cross proves we're worth dying for, the cross proves we're not rejected even at our worst, the cross proves Jesus is not ashamed to be counted with us transgressors! And thus the cross forever silences those voices of accusation! 

The cross shows that His love is a loyal love, a love that does not take into account a wrong suffered, a love that keeps no record of wrongs, a love that says of His murderers, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing!" He sees past our wrongs to the hurting person beneath, to His little lost child beneath, so in need of his Papa's tender loving care!  
The cross shouts for all eternity, "I came to my own and you, my very own children, are worth it! You are worth My very own life! You are so special and beloved and accepted in My sight that I'd rather die than miss out on fellowship with You! I can't get you out of My heart, our of My thoughts, out of My existence! I am forever on your side, forever for you! You're my very own children, and I'd do anything for you! I will never leave you or forsake you. I will never turn you out in the cold, never forget you. You're everything to Me, and I will never let anything keep us from enjoying sweet communion together for ever and always!"
The cross forever stands as our proof of God's love and our value to Him in the face of any accusation or lying voice of condemnation or shame...for He says we're worth dying for, we're loved no matter what we do, we can't drive Him away no matter how we act, He's for us, on our side, to do us good, no matter what, forever and always! Committed, faithful, unconditional, nonjudgmental, generous, self-sacrificing, other-centered, 100% pure LOVE! That's what He is, and the cross is our proof that it is so! Hallelujah!

We're Always Innocent Chilren Before Him!

I just wanted to share some wonderful thoughts that came up in an email conversation with my beautiful friend Rachel recently as we were talking about how our Father sees us, His children:

"I have certainly had many ups and downs but I guess really, all along I was being carried by another, who is living within me and never have I been outside of Him. I think maybe deep down we all just want to know that we are ok and loved no matter what our circumstances are or how we act in situations. So it's really such a relief to think that has been true for us all along and is true every moment. Even greater is the fact that our actions, thoughts, feelings etc. do not determine who we are, and God only sees us as precious children, with pure thoughts, feelings, actions etc. Because if those things were to define us we would be measuring ourselves on a yard stick, unable to fully feel unconditionally loved and ultimately putting ourselves back under a law, which is fine, but rather obsolete since Jesus removed all of that!

"You know I wonder sometimes whether at our core we wish to just be children again. Not in the sense that we wouldn't get to experience the freedoms of being an adult, but children are always loved and doted on for simply being. I know that sometimes children do not get to experience that if their home life is not so good, but children just want to feel loved and free and happy at the core. Maybe God knows that is true about each of us and wishes to love us like that, allowing us to just play, be free, savor the moment and be happy. And maybe even our actions and thoughts, though not always in line with what we hope to be true, aren't even a concern to Him. It is as if He is a parent that watches his young child steal a cookie from the cookie jar- the parent knows it is all out of innocence and could never feel that his child has actually done anything wrong! And in this case, unlike the parent who catches his or her child stealing a cookie-we are never reprimanded or made to feel as if our actions aren't accepted, for every bit of us is fully accepted!"
Wow, isn't it wonderful to know that we are truly innocent before Him, even in the midst of our 'hands in the cookie jar' moments, that our hearts are truly innocent and pure deep down, that there is NO shame, blame, guilting, condemning or punishment coming to us from our Daddy at all, ever!  Our performance is never a measure of our worth - His Love is the measure of our worth, and that Love is infinite, eternal, unconditional!  Wow!  That means our worth, our value, is infinite, eternal, unconditional!Just as our own children are worth the world to us and we'd do anything, truly anything, for them, so we are priceless and beyond valuable to Him, worth the whole cosmos times infinity!  For the magniitude of our dignity and honor before Him is beyond infinite, beyond price, beyond understanding or imagining!  You are His treasure, His whole world!  You mean everything to Him!  
And He always sees and knows and relates to you just as you are - innocent, pure and sweet like a little tiny child!  Pure, untainted, unmarred, with only innocent thoughts and motives and intentions.  He sees the deepest part of Himself and only sees His own image there!  We are made in the image of Love, Pure Love, vast and open and free, so how could we ever be anything else BUT that pure love?  We couldn't!  The source and wellspring of our very life is God, is a Pure Source, like sweet crystal clear water, a fountain of Perfect Love springing up from within giving us life, BEING our Life..and if the Source (God) is pure, the water springing from it (humanity) is pure! 

As my dear sister Rachel has said so well, we only want to be loved, don't we?  That is our one pure innocent motive behind it all, just a longing to know we are okay and loved no matter what.  When we find out we are truly loved without condition, without measure, without end, everything inside starts to breathe easy and rest.  When we find out we really are His children, being held in Love by our Papa at all times - that we are truly "being carried by another" who is eternally for us, in us, as us - we naturally settle down and fall asleep in His arms!

There is Someone in us, in our depths, Someone who is for us, Someone who is carrying us, Someone who is loving us, and we will never be anything other than His beloved, innocent children, held fast in His arms!  We are ONE with this wonderful Someone, this wonderful Father, made of His DNA, breathing His Spirit as our breath, having His very nature of Love, feeling His heartbeat sound out His presence in us at every moment..We are ONE, never TWO!  We are ONE, together, a unity, ONE Spirit, and we can never be separated or apart!  We are ONE, we are HOME, we are PURE, we are LOVED!

A God Beyond All Imaginings..

If we had never heard of God, had never read anything about Him or been taught anything about Him, and we were to start imagining what we would want a God to be like, what would we imagine?

I would imagine:

Someone that is just one immense bundle of pure love, acceptance and joy...

Someone who would forgive all I did wrong, understand me perfectly, hold me no matter what...

Someone I need never fear but instead a protector who sheltered me safely and put away all fear...

Someone of infinite peace who made me feel so comfortable in His presence, who always brought rest to my weary heart and comforted me in every way, who took care of me and made sure everything in my life worked out for the very best...

Someone who would be like the perfect parent, spouse and friend all wrapped up in one and magnified by infinity...

Someone who would love me like I'd always dreamed of being loved, who would never leave me...

Someone whom I couldn't drive away no matter what I did, who was committed to me no matter what, who would see me through to the end and make sure I'd be with Him forever!

Well, wouldn't God be more wonderful than any of those amazing thoughts? Yes, surely God is way beyond what we could ever ask or imagine! Surely He is infinitely better than we could ever dream! All the ideas you could imagine of the most wonderful, perfectly kind, gentle, accepting, protective, caring, friendly, joyful and peaceful and loyal Being of pure Love...multiplied by infinity...all that is just a tiny glimmer of the beauty of all God is for us and to us!! He is more wonderful and more loving and more accepting than we could ever imagine!

He is truly a Love beyond all imaginings!  Thank You Papa!  We couldn't have imagined a better Friend, a more loving Father, a more wonderful GOD than You are to us every moment!   Any time we have ever thought You to be any less than Perfect Love, it only meant that our vision was clouded by lies and confusion..for Your name is Love and Love is the ONLY expression of Your nature!  Thank You dear Papa and thank You dear Jesus for showing us this very thing in the incarnation, the cross and the resurrection..You revealed the Father's face in Your very own face, and what was revealed is that God, our Papa, is Love and ONLY Love, and that we are His beloved little children!  And thank You Holy Spirit for making that love a real experience in our lives!
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