It was love at first sight to see the bud of a flower after the winter we’ve had (although they’re calling for more snow tomorrow here in the South). It was joy to see them stretch out their praise to their Creator this morning.
I’m continuing to mull over the words found in 1 John 4:13-22 as I continue this little series of posts about the passionate love God has for us. The instructions John gives is to know and rely on God caught my attention.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.”
1 John 4:16
I looked that verse up in different translations and found this...God wants to make sure we know ‘how much he loves us’, ‘he loves us dearly’, ‘we know the love that God has for us, we’re to trust that love,’ and ‘rely on the love God has for us’.
Rely on His love.
He loves relentlessly, recklessly, and wreckfully and by that He’s lately been turning my little world around and is messing up plans I had of my own.
When God’s Spirit is telling you to stop going the same way you’ve been going for a long time and turn a new direction, it’s rattling, unnerving, unpredictable. Relying on God’s love is what gets you to turn and take that step down this new, narrow road.
I must rely on His will, rely on His plan, rely on His promises, rely on His protection, rely on His forgiveness - when I let go of trust while turning my head back where I had been -wanting to run back.
I must rely on the cross. Who would ever want to rely on a cross? Rely on planks of wood where hands and feet were nailed into? Rely on the cross that held the man whose blood poured onto it? Rely on the cross when Jesus, the love-forevermore and sinless man died on it? Rely on that cross because it hung our Savior?
I must rely on Jesus whom the cross held.
Rely on Jesus. Not myself.
There’s been plenty of times when I’ve relied on myself when I try to do life my way. I say, “I’ve got things under control, God. I’ll handle this one on my own. Everything’s a smooth ride at the moment and life’s on cruise control, so I don’t need you right now.”
Or how about when I’m stressed and make poor decisions out of reaction or choose to avoid pain or suffering by carrying someone else’s cross instead of being willing to carry someone’s burden like Jesus did? The human that I am, I tried to do everything I can to avoid suffering. I’m not proud of that. For so long I’ve want my world to be peachy-keen and do everything possible to avoid anything that may cause me to suffer.
Jesus wants me to trust in and rely on Him, not trust in and rely on myself.
Whatever that may be. Trust in suffering, trust in joy. Rely on His promises, rely on Him.
I cannot hope to follow Christ and live life for Him if I’m trusting and relying on myself and if I’m not trusting in, and relying on Christ.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus relied on the cross to hold the massive weight of all of our sins he was carrying - mine included. While on the cross, Jesus relied on his Father’s promise of being victorious by crushing satan. Jesus trusted on the promise of eternal life at the right hand of His Father.
Jesus relied on the passionate love of His Father.
Jesus wants us to rely on and trust in the passionate love he lavishes on us.
Relying on relishing on that promise…that God loves us deeply, passionately.