First of all, despite many false teachings within our American church that if we follow Christ we are promised health, wealth, prosperity and nothing but sunny days, Jesus reminds us in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus is telling us we are going to have troubles. Of course we are! We are not perfect and no one in our families is perfect and those we work with and do life with are not perfect, therefore, trouble is going to happen. The real question is what we will do with our troubles; we either allow them to be destructive or redemptive. Will we as followers of Christ believe He is truly on our side and our greatest Advocate ready to work everything we take to Him out for our good? Will we let our troubles be destructive or we will give them to Him and allow Him to make them redemptive? He is the One that can bring beauty from ashes.
Psalm 145:18 says very clearly, “The Lord is close to all who call upon Him.”
I love how the Message explains this passage about God being near us: Acts 17:26-29 (MSG) “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’
Will you thank Him for bending His ear and hearing your every word to Him and for never leaving you nor forsaking you? He is ever present and He is willing to participate in your life. Will you stop doubting and thank Him?
The enemy will also lie to you by telling you Abba Father could not possibly approve of you because of ______________ (you fill in the blank).
What is the truth?
Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Hmm, did Abba write through Paul there might be some condemnation if you did this or that or there might be a whole lot of condemnation for such and such? No, He was pretty clear; NO condemnation. And what does condemnation mean here in the Greek? It means no blaming, no reprimanding, clean and right. So in essence Abba is telling you, you belong to Him now, and when you confessed Him as your Lord and Savior and asked forgiveness for all past sins whether you remembered all of them or not, you are clean and right before God and He holds no blame against you. You are as clean as snow because of the blood of Jesus.
Will you thank Him for setting you free; free from your past and free to live for Him?
Will you determine to thank Him that you are accepted and loved by Him even if right now your feelings don’t line up with that truth?
Another lie we so easily believe is that Abba Father only loves us when we are performing and behaving properly.
What is the truth?
Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love I am not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness.
This is the thing about performance or living in obedience to God’s Word; it is for my own good and makes my life better. My performance does not make Abba love me more; He could not love me anymore than He already does. However, when I chose to live a life that brings Him glory I am blessed with His intimacy. Disobedience kills intimacy with Abba which is why sometimes we don’t feel close to Him.
1 John 3:1 “See how much our heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called His children, and we really are!” He loves us because we belong to Him and we are His kids! When I came home from the hospital with my son and daughter I loved them simply because they were my children. I didn’t say, now if you sleep through the night and don’t cry I am going to love you. My love for them was not based on how well they behaved.
Check out these verses regarding how much Abba loves YOU.
Psalm 17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
You are the apple of God’s eye! You are favored! You are that precious to Him!
The Lord says, “I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16 GNT
Abba is so taken with you, He has YOUR name always before Him!
Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
Will you thank Him for choosing YOU long ago to have a close, trusting and loving relationship with Him? You need only to say YES to Him; will you?
I love how A.W.Tozer writes that facts like the ones I just shared with you are as cold as the altar of Elijah on Carmel before the fire came; until the heart makes the ultimate surrender and chooses to believe God. Then the fire will fall and the truth will transform and enlighten your soul and change your thinking.
Your Abba loves you so much! You were His idea after all; will you mediate on the above verses and ask Him to help you receive His amazing love and care over you?
When I was struggling with receiving His amazing love and grace into my life, I used to carry the above verses around on index cards and read them throughout the day until I memorized them. Also, a great exercise to incorporate into your morning is before getting out of bed say something like, “Thank you Abba Father for making me. You love me; teach me to love You. You have good plans and purposes for me and You are working good in my life. I have an amazing future with You. In Jesus Name.”