A great many people, even God’s people, have a difficult time getting their mind around the idea that God actually likes them and is interested in them. I suppose much of this difficulty centers in a sense that many people feel they are so unworthy and so unrighteous – even while professing faith in Christ. Others may have a view of God wherein He is seen as so completely “other” and distant from any measure of practical or daily relationship and communication.
But the facts from Scripture are absolutely clear. He loves you with a love that is immense…
1JN 3:1 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! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
You still not sure? Let me ask you… have you died for anyone else lately?
Rev. 1:5-6 … To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power for ever and ever!
Soren Kierkegaard wrote a wonderful story called “The King and the Maiden” …
Suppose there was a king who loved a humble maiden. This king was like no other king. Every statesman trembled before his power. No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all his opponents. And yet this mighty king was melted by love for a humble maiden. How could he declare his love for her? In an odd sort of way, his kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her with jewels and clothed her in royal robes, she would surely not resist—no one dared resist him. But would she love him?
She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Would she be happy at his side? How could he know? If he rode to her forest cottage in his royal carriage, with an armed escort waving bright banners, that too would overwhelm her. He did not want a cringing subject. He wanted a lover.
The story goes on to present the king’s solution. He would disguise himself as a beggar, and would win her heart in that manner. And so it is with Christ, who has entered our world as one of us, to win our hearts, and to rescue us from our impoverished condition in sin.
Most great stories have a rescue, and we thrill to that most exciting part of the adventures we enjoy.
Jack will come to rescue Rose. William Wallace will rise up to rescue Scotland. Luke Skywalker will rescue the princess and then the free peoples of the universe. Nemo’s father rescues him. Nathaniel rescues beautiful Cora – not just once, but twice. Neo breaks the power of the Matrix and sets a captive world free. Aslan comes to rescue Narnia… Why does every great story have a rescue? Because your does. (John Eldridge, Epic, p. 61)
God loves us so much, He has rescued us from death itself. But this rescue goes far beyond fire insurance. He then desires a relationship with us. He adopts us into His very own family. And beyond that, He positions us to be a major player in what He is doing and will do in His great story. That, in a word, is incredible.
Let us consider some of what you are now in Christ…
- Peter told his readers that they are a living part of Christ, chosen, precious, and a holy priesthood – meaning able to come individually before God in an acceptable way.
1PE 2:4 As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him– 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. … … 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received -mercy.
- The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans of the nature of their relationship to God – speaking eloquently as to how they are adopted in the Family. And this family relationship brings with it great privileges as heirs.
RO 8:12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
- We will share in His glory, because of His grace. And not only that, but we will reign with him!! John, in The Revelation, records the words of the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders, bowed down before the Lamb in the heavenly throne room, singing…
REV 5:9-10 “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Our response to this must of necessity be one of worship and thanks for God’s magnanimous grace. Allow yourself to be shattered by the immensity of God’s love for you… spend some time in prayer flat on your face before God… stand with your eyes heavenward, and your arms open in expression of love for your Savior.