In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Can't get away from God's love

Lately I just can't keep my mind off God's grace and love.

Most likely this is because I've been reading through two books by Brennan Manning - "The Ragamuffin Gospel" and "The Furious Longing of God". Both of these books center around God's grace and love. Brennan is somewhere in his seventies and he makes some statements that I came across today that really hit me.

One was that self improvement is an illusion. It makes us feel good but doesn't really work. The other was that if he had his life to do again, he'd simply live it by just doing the next thing in love.

I adore both these concepts!

Our world is filled with self improvement schemes; it feeds our neurotic souls that want to be in control. I keep coming back to Jesus' words in John 15:3-5 (NKJV):

3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

These words of Jesus are why I agree with Manning that self improvement can not be real. The older I get the more I see it as one of the banes of our age. It is only as I abide in Christ that any real change that is of value can happen.

I'm a type A personality; or at least I used to be. But the more I live, the more I see that all my planning and doing are not what it's really about. Brennan's concept of just taking the next thing that God brings into your life for you to do, and doing it in love, makes sense. This reminds me of when Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment to which He replied:

37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
John 2:37-40 (NIV)

Also over in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 where it talks about if I could do all these wonderful things but did not have love it would not be of value. Then we see in verse 13 where it says:

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

To live my life loving God and loving others in ways that are real is what it's really all about. I can only do this through Christ in me.

What's God been teaching you lately about His love and grace?


Anonymous said...

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shengy said...

hi ms tracy..tnx for visiting my site..

anyways..i love your subjects..a lot

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