Does God love us as we are...imperfect, warty, sinful... Or, does He love us because He sees us perfect in His Son?
Are we valuable because He loves us? Or are we loved because we are of value?
Do we claim perfection in Jesus' name in order to secure God's sweet embrace? Or do we feel His embrace long before we know about dropping names?
These may be trivial questions. Honestly the answers do not matter so much to me. I know Jesus. Intimately. I feel so secure in Him that it is really beyond explaining. So I just want to talk a minute or ten about how this secure feeling plays out.
Basically, I feel like I am the queen of the universe. I feel like there is nothing I can do to remove God's love from me. This means that sometimes I do bad stuff. And He still loves me. And I still know it.
One time I was in a store and I wanted some cookies. I reallllly wanted those cookies. No, I didn't steal the cookies. I was prepared to purchase the cookies. But I felt a nudge in my spirit. A whisper..."Babe, don't eat the cookies." I knew it was God.
It really annoyed me. "shhhhhh...I don't want to talk about this right now." I said. (not out loud) No good...He kept pestering me.
He reminded me that I was trying to stay away from sugar. I knew this. I didn't want to hear it. He reminded me that chocolate was not my friend. I didn't care.
Finally, I just told Him to knock it off.
I didn't feel like I was going to get lightning for that. It was just us. I knew He was probably, most definitely, right but I wanted the cookies and I was willing to pay the price. So I did it. I bought the cookies. They tasted so delicious. I didn't get a belly ache. I didn't feel the earth shake. I didn't feel His cold shoulder. He just stayed right there with me.
Now this seems so trivial. It seems down right heretical to me. You can't be sassin off to the God of the universe. Yet I did. And it changed my life. Because right then and there I realized something. (Everyone has those moments...those "aha" times that get lost in translation but you know them...the moments that change your whole way of thinking.) This moment was, for me, a realization that I was not perfect and He was not leaving.
Silly, I know.
Up til then, I think I had believed that God could only see me through the Jesus filter. I could claim the blood now, or at the pearly gates, and it was all gonna be covered. I do still believe that actually. I think that is kinda core to the whole "Christian" thing.
I guess I really felt like it was up to me to name it and claim it. Him I mean. Claim Jesus or not. My choice. If I didn't, I was outside the perfect will of God and in danger. I might could claim Him later on supposing I didn't kick the bucket before I choked out my final "Jesus help me." Shoot, I even had that last call where every knee will bow. But between now and then, well, it felt like it was just best not to tick Him off.
But here, I didn't claim Jesus over that cookie. I just ate it. And God had suggested that I not.
I am not telling you to go around telling God to take a hike while you do as you please. I am just saying that if you do...He won't.
I will even go further to say this. He doesn't stick around because He only sees you as you are "meant to be". Nope. Who you are right now does not scare Him. I feel confident in saying this. You do not intimidate Him. God ain't scareda you.
I realize that He can see my future. He can see me in the glory and perfection of eternity. He can, and does. But that is not why He loves me. It is not what gives me value in His eyes. It is not Jesus that secures our worth.
Folks, I am here to tell you that God loves you because you are you and He likes you. You do really rotten stuff. Much worse than me, I am sure.
Remember that one place where it says "for God so loved the world that He sent His only Son"
Seems to me that sending His Son was in response to His love. God's love for His creation caused Him to sacrifice a part of His very self so that His valuables could all be regained. Get that? We are the valuables.
Look, my feet are burnin here as I stand in the hotbed of theological purgatory.
I claim the blood of Jesus. I am secure in that claim. So secure that I feel free to explore a little into this subject.
In case you got lost...the subject is...value. Your value. My value. Are we valuable to God in our sin? OR are we valuable because God sees our sin no more?
I do not have scripture back up for all this. I am looking...but I haven't found yet a definitive answer. Even if I did, I know that there are many that could find other definitive answers that could stand up to and smack mine down like a crying baby.
So I am just going to make my statement. My source? The Holy Scriptures( in entirety), my knowledge of my Father and His Son, the lover of my life and The Spirit of the Living God that moves and breathes in me filling me with knowledge and understanding. With all that I am saying this...
I did not disappear when I took on the name of Jesus. I kept being me. I will be perfect someday. But I am not there yet. God loves me in full knowledge of who I am and He likes it that way. He likes me. Warts and all.