Struggling Toward Love

Do you ever really struggle with the immensity of God’s grace and the magnitude of your own lack of love and depravity? I mean really struggle. I think of Paul, crying out, when will I be delivered from this body of death? Romans 7:24. Those things I want to do I don’t do and the things I don’t want to do I do. Romans 7:15-16.

Just tonight Regan told Tara that she didn’t feel loved enough. Why? Two very specific things her brothers had said. They were small things, and I’m sure neither brother really thought that the words were a big deal and didn’t mean them to be hurtful. But, for Regan, she clung to them like 50-pound bags of flour, weighing down her heart and soul to the point where she felt like her best friends, her brothers, didn’t like or love her. Added to her feelings of failure, it was more than she could take. She understands that she doesn’t always do the right thing and she understands how deeply she needs love.

Paul understood. I’m learning it more and more every day. From that place of brokenness He prayed time and time again for the young followers of Jesus that they would grow in their knowledge of the heighth and the depth and the width and breadth of God’s love. Ephesians 3:14-21.

We need to face the fact we are all broken. Will Campbell, when asked by an atheist journalist to summarize the Christian message in ten words or less, said, “We’re all bastards but God loves us anyway.” (Taken from Philip Yancey’s book “What’s So Amazing About Grace?”) But it doesn’t end there; no, we need not focus forever on our own limitations. Instead, we can fix our eyes on Jesus, the one who finished the work on the Cross, and begin the journey of learning about His great love. Hebrews 12:1-2.

It isn’t an overnight thing. We must struggle, working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12. Learning to forgive as we have been forgiven. Matthew 6:14-15. Rejecting the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – that yummy and great looking fruit Judgment – and choosing the free gift of Grace God gives. Matthew 7:1-5. Struggling isn’t easy. And the thief will come along to trip us up with every step we make forward. John 10:10. And we’ll want to point at others who also trip up to justify ourselves, rather than constantly encouraging one another on in love and good works. Nevertheless, let’s not give up the fight, no matter where we’ve been or where we find ourselves. The Cross has won the war, all we must do is keep our eyes trained there. Jesus has an easy yoke ever ready whenever we stop trying to carry our own. Matthew 11:28-30.

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