Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Oh, yes, He Loves Me

This is a stolen blog segment from the LPM blog that I read. You can check out the whole blog post here. I thought this was really powerful and worth sharing. It seems all to easily I forget who I am and need to be reminded. Maybe I'm not alone in that.

Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but he is strong

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Oh, yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
For the Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me!
He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Oh, yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
For the Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me
He will stay close beside me all the way
He’s prepared a home for me
And someday his face I’ll see.

Oh, yes, Jesus loves me.
Oh, yes, Jesus loves me.
He loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
For the Bible tells me so.

Pretty powerful, right? Perhaps we skipped a couple of those verses in kindergarten because I don’t remember the song being all that weighty. Maybe I was too busy eating a donut. The donuts were my favorite thing about Sunday school growing up. Yes, I was sinful at birth. The first line I love is “little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong”. I like to think of "little ones" not just as young children but as you and me. I figure I have some license since in the gospel of John, Jesus addresses grown men as “little children” (John 13:33; 21:5 “children”). Lately I’ve been reading a lot about being called children of God and what the implications of this reality are during our earthly journey. This past week I came across a sermon by John Piper in April 1995 called “The Depth of Christ’s Love: Its Lavish Benefits”. He comments on this text, 1 John 3:1 and I think you’ll enjoy reading it. I was most moved by the second half.

“Not only did it cost him his Son to save us from sin and death and hell and not only were we enemies so that God had to propitiate his own righteous anger in order to save us but he went way beyond the love of rescue and the love of sacrifice and the love of clemency to his enemies. In and through all this he had a greater design. He showed us another kind of love beyond all that. He might have rescued us, sacrificed for us, forgiven us, and not gone any further. But instead he showed us another kind of love—he took us into his family. He made us to be called children of God. Don't take this for granted. First of all, he might not have saved us at all. He might have said, "Enemies don't deserve saving, and that's that." He might have said, "My Son is too precious to pay for angels, let alone humans, let alone ungodly, rebellious humans." But he also might have said, "I will save them from hell, and forgive their sins, and give them eternal existence—on another planet, and I will communicate with them through angels." Nothing in us, or in the nature of the world required that God would go beyond all redeeming, forgiving, rescuing, healing love to this extreme—namely, to an adopting love. A love that will not settle for a truce, or a formal gratitude, or distant planet of material pleasure, but will press all the way in to make you a child of God. A member of the family. But even that is not an adequate description of this kind of love. When John writes about our becoming children of God, he is not thinking mainly in terms of adoption. He is thinking in terms of something more profound. He is thinking of new birth. There is no human analogy to this…The love that John has in view here in 1 John 3:1 is not the love that merely takes care of paper work and adopts. That would be amazing beyond words—to be adopted into God's family. And Paul does describe it this way. But John sees more. God does not adopt. He moves in, by his Spirit, his seed, John calls it, and imparts something of himself to us, so that we take on a family resemblance" (John Piper).

Being called a child of God is not just a metaphor.

It is who we are.

Regardless of how self-sufficient we imagine ourselves to be.

Or how old we are.

Our Father is close beside us all the way.

In our darkest and loneliest hours.

Long after our earthly parents are gone.

During a string of seemingly endless doctor’s appointments.

And at the moment we draw our very last breath.

In Christ, we are never truly orphaned.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

That we should be called children of God.

What a wonder.

May you be reminded of who you are today.

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