Knowing Love in Lent
Date Published: 03 / 8 / 2022 |
In this the Love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he has loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:9-10
God loves you. You are loved today by the One who loves without reserve. His forgiveness is an ocean and your failure and shortcomings is like a drop of blood in that vast ocean. How do we know he loves us? How can we be sure he is really with us?
We often look to our emotions and feelings to tell us what is going on:
Do I feel loved?
Do I feel “on fire?”
Is my life going well?
Am I excited about my life?
Other times we look to our performance to tell us what is going on:
Am I succeeding?
Is my bank account growing?
What are my accomplishments? Am I recognized?
Is my career going where I want it to?
Are my kids thriving?
Do I have lots of friends?
Do I do cool things?
You might look at your religious life:
Am I doing enough?
How do I compare with others?
You might look at your relationships:
Do I have a lot of friends?
Do I have that sought-after “best friend?”
Am I married? Why am I married?
Why do some friendships last and others don’t? Is it me?
All of these realities create emotions, some good some bad. As we experience life we can get caught up in how we are feeling about things - creating worst case scenarios in our mind; or we see ourselves as better than others - creating an inflated ego. Partial information narratives about ourselves and others abound. So what do we do with all these subjective (inside yourself) thoughts and emotions? How do we get on solid ground?
The answer is a historical event. An objective (outside yourself) reality.
How you feel about it has no bearing on the truth of it:
The Cross of Christ.
The Apostle John tells us that the “Love of God” was made “manifest among us.” God’s love was displayed on the cross. Jesus became our propitiation (wrath-bearer who turned away God’s wrath against our flaws). When you want to experience the Love of God don’t look inward, look at the history of the God man hanging on the cross for you. He is bleeding with his arms open wide saying, “I love you even with all your flaws. I forgive you. I am with you. I am going to eventually heal you and this whole place.”
Don’t look at your feelings,
look at the cross until your feelings melt in his bleeding love.
As we continue in Lent, take a moment (maybe 5 minutes) to sit in this love. Then live your life today based on the historical and present reality of the fact that God is crazy about you!
Grace and peace,