Another book that I needed. Spoken for by Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Bethke.
I knew that God loved me. I grew up singing “Jesus Loves Me.” I don’t know when or how I started to doubt. But somewhere along the way it happened.
Could God really care for me? Doesn’t my sin push Him away? Didn’t that sin I just committed push Him over the edge? Doesn’t He get tired of me?
This book talks about how God is relentlessly pursuing you. It talks about the verses where God is likened to a bridegroom rejoicing over you – His bride.
So often I have heard God’s love downplayed. That phrases like “passionate love” and “great romance” lower God’s love to us to the realm of a touch-feely romance. I must beg to differ.
When I think of how much my husband loved me on our wedding day…..that is a ton of love. If God is likened to a bridegroom….that is some serious, passionate love.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us.” – 1 John 3:1
“As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.” – Isaiah 62:5
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in
Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end. They are
new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17
That is some deep, deep love.
At one point in the book, Robin shares a story of how her husband told her she apologized too much. Always apologizing for things that she didn’t even do. My husband and I have had that very conversation many times.
“That’s a trap of the enemy,’ he said.
‘A trap? What do you mean?’
He reassured me that if I apologized or asked forgiveness for my mistake, then that was the end of it. In God’s eyes, my sin was tossed into the deepest sea. It was ridiculous for me to paddle out and fish around to pull my failures back up just so I could hold them high to say, ‘Look at how I messed up. I’m so sorry.'”
That is exactly how I have acted so many times. But the Bible tells us that our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). And the Bible also says that God’s word is completely true (Joshua 21:45, Numbers 23:19, John 17:17).
This book talked about how I am precious to God. Me. Precious.
I don’t believe this concept is too far fetched. God is likened to a Father many times throughout Scripture. When I think about my love for my son and how precious he is to me….I realize that that is the kind of love God has for me. Not stoic, stagnant, theological love. Real love. Real feelings. Real delight. Real joy. For me.
This book talked about how God pursues me. Even in the Garden of Eden, God set the precedent. Adam and Eve sinned, and still God came to them. He knew 100% that they had sinned. That they had failed Him. And yet He still came. He initiated. He pursued.
This book talked about how God loves me. I realized how much I was believing that love is temperamental….it can come and go. That one day a person can be happy and in love, the next day they can be cranky, frustrated, and upset at you. But God is not a person. He is true love. He is pure love. God’s love came to me when I was yet a sinner. He began the pursuit when I was a sinner. He is not shocked now by my sin, by my mistakes. He chose me in the midst of my sin.
This book was huge. I desperately needed to know and believe the love of God toward me. It spoke to my heart. The knowledge of God’s love is absolutely life-changing.