God Loves Me Anyway

I just read something that I have to react to. But I need to give a bit of background about me first.

I became a Christian in 1984, and it has not been an easy ride. I sometimes envy others who tell of how they were social problems before they heard about Jesus, and how His love turned them around.

I don’t have that kind of story.

I was the favored child, the smarter one. I was sent to exclusive schools, given the best opportunity to hone my music skills, allowed to go to any university I wanted. But when I chose to trust Jesus to save me and lead me (what Christians would call “receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord”), things went downhill.

I lost favor with my family. When I discovered that I really wanted to be a musician for Jesus more than a filmmaker (my original college course), I lost focus and started to fail, eventually dropping out. But even my music course proved to be not quite the direction I knew I had to take, and I eventually dropped out again.

Instead of looking for a 9-5 job, I became a volunteer for Christian organizations. I worked as hard and as long as any employee, but was hardly paid. It was many years before I realized that my mother saw this more as her daughter being exploited, making her think less of the faith I had chosen over hers.

There is a verse that says that anyone who follows the Lord Jesus Christ will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Although I’m wary to call what I had gone through “persecution.” Nero persecuted Christians. I was simply losing favor with my parents.

And yet through all this, I had the strange assurance that God favors me somehow. It was only a couple of years ago, after going through Joseph Prince’s book Destined to Reign, did I understand why.

Jesus.

My focus changed since then. I used to be so concerned with wanting to show Jesus how much I loved Him, how faithful I can be, how useful to His kingdom.

Bah humbug.

Joseph Prince showed the difference between Peter and John: Peter, like I have been, tried to prove his love for Jesus. John realized something more life-changing than his love for his Master. He realized how much His Master loves him.

That’s why at the end of his life, he called himself the Apostle whom Jesus loved.

And that’s what I’m realizing now: Jesus loves me. Me!

It’s been many years, but today someone challenged me again with 1 Corinthians 13:4 -7, called the Love passage. I was told to measure myself and how loving I was by this passage, substituting my name for the word “love”. You don’t have to guess how well I did, I’ll tell you:

FAILED!

But if it’s about Jesus’ love for me and not my love for him, then the right way to read this passage is not as criteria I should meet, but the ways Jesus shows me His love. If there was any name to be substituted for the word love, it should be JESUS, not mine.

I invite you to read my paraphrase of this passage out loud:

JESUS is patient with me and kind to me (He can stand my failures and doesn’t look down on me because of them). JESUS is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude (He does not need to prove that He’s better than me and I’m worse than Him). JESUS does not demand His own way (He doesn’t force me to obey Him, although He loves me enough to show me that disobedience is the more harmful choice). JESUS is not irritable toward me and does not keep a record of my wrongs (He forgives me because my sins have already been paid for. By Him!). JESUS does not rejoice with injustice against me (He doesn’t enjoy seeing me suffer) but rejoices whenever the truth wins out (He laughs with joy when I finally see how His promises to me work ). JESUS never gives up on me, never loses faith in me, is always hopeful for me, endures through every circumstance I am in (He believes in me and stays with me no matter what). JESUS never fails me (He will never disappoint me and will always fulfill His promises to me, regardless of my faithlessness and unfaithfulness).

Yes, Jesus loves me. Not because I deserve it or have earned it. No way!

Here’s the chorus of a song I’m writing. I hope it strengthens your heart and assures you of the truth of Jesus’ love for you:

God loves you anyway, so Jesus died for you, no matter what you’ve done, said or thought or didn’t do. Jesus loves you anyway, for you He rose again, then sent His Holy Spirit to be with you to the end, because God loves you anyway…

And God loves me anyway, too.

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8 thoughts on “God Loves Me Anyway

  1. Dear Friend in Christ,

    Wow, I read your message today, in the love category, right next to mine. It so touched my heart. You are precious. And God knows, your heart. I just sense, even though, you made those choices to do things Gods way, from the beginning, in his Kingdom, are more special jewels for you to lay at his feet. You see, I see an unconditional love, and a sacrifice that you have made in his name. I know it has been hard, but still here God cn restore. Remember, the Lords prayer, where he says, ‘ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN” You are an example, that many should follow….In the sense, that you know who you are in Christ. Blessings, feel free to come and visit my blog. Or sign up.

    Elena Ramirez

    http://elenasjustmythoughts.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you, Elena! Your encouragement is precious. I’ve added your blog to my blogroll, I’ll be visiting too. I thank the Lord that you were blessed by what I wrote. ^_^ God bless you too!

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  2. Ate Dits,

    I particularly love this part, “John realized something more life-changing than his love for his Master. He realized how much His Master loves him.”

    Maybe most Christians go through this situation where we want to prove God how much we love him, yet human as we are, we fail miserably. Not until we realize that we should not look on ourself because we will always fall short, but He, He fills what we lack and will never (ever) take that against us. 🙂

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  3. Your welcome dear heart. Well you so inspired me, I thought what a precious heart. Glad to make your acquaintance. And thanks for sharing, you inspired us all, I believe.
    Elena

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  4. God spoke to me once and he gave me what I needed at the time. I need it again, but feel like I’m asking too much. I understand how god knows I’m a sinner, and that I should just have faith. I want more of a relationship with god now on earth. Is that so bad?

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    1. Hello Nathan!

      First, I am so sorry for my late reply. I had been wondering for sometime if I should continue this blog, because I felt it had gone in a direction I could not sustain. But I think I’ll just redirect it to follow what I think Jesus’ direction for it is.

      Nathan, there is a verse in the bible that says: “If God did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him FREELY give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 NASB, emphasis mine).

      But the key here is that phrase “with Him”: God FREELY gives us all things — needs, desires, and surprise gifts — WITH Jesus. Your desire for more of a relationship with God now on earth is the BEST desire that God loves to fulfill, and He fulfills that with His Son Jesus. And as you enjoy Jesus and your Heavenly Daddy, as His Holy Spirit proves to you that He desires a relationship with you as much as you do, and maybe more, then you will get your answers to prayers. Answers that may not always be what you want or expect, but will eventually prove to be the best.

      Have a great 2013 with Jesus!

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  5. Reblogged this on Eyes on The Cross and commented:

    I’d been thinking of giving up this blog. I feel that it’s gone the wrong way…that most of the things I’ve ended up posting reeked of my pride more than of Jesus. And I’m not sure I wanna go and check.

    But when I checked in today, I found a pending comment from 30 days ago, so I went to look at the blog where the comment was. It was a great answer to my conundrum. So yes, while I have started a lighter-hearted blog (deescoveringlife.wordpress,com), I think Jesus wants me to keep Eyes on the Cross. Let me start 2013 with His reminder to me from way back June 1 2010. To commenter Nathan Christensen (you have a wonderful name, did you know that? Gift of God…son of Christ’s disciple), God didn’t just lead you to that 2 year old blog for your question, but also for my sake. I thank God for you.

    Have a great 2013 with Jesus, everybody!

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