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Archive for February, 2019

If there is one clear message in the Bible, it is that God loves us. And yet, in spite of the clarity of the message, we still wrestle with believing it. Lauren Daigle’s song – You Say – has this opening line. “I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough; every single lie that tells me I will never measure up”.

We need a dose of what Paul had. In his letter to the Corinthian church he said this: “For I am the least of the apostles, and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church.”

Do you think Paul “measured up”? He had Christians killed. If anyone had room to think they didn’t “measure up”, it was Paul. And yet somehow he got past that and was able to write this next line. “But by God’s grace, I am what I am and HIS GRACE TO ME WAS NOT WITHOUT EFFECT.”

We can all write a similar line. “For I am the least of Christians and do not even deserve to be called a Christian because . . .“ We all have our ‘becauses’. Yet in spite of them, God offers to us the same grace He offered Paul. It’s not a matter of ‘measuring up”; it’s a matter of grasping the grace. Grasping the grace helps you to believe that God loves you. And believing you are loved, helps you to love – both yourself and others.

If your focus is on measuring up, and time after time after time you fail miserably at doing so, you will have difficulty loving yourself. If your focus is on measuring up, you will have difficulty loving others when you see that they, as well, do not measure up.

One last little dig: if you have difficulty loving your own self, you will doubt that others love you. Maybe someone wasn’t as friendly one day as you think they should have been – as you wish they would’ve been – your first inclination is that they do not like you.

James Dobson line is so incredibly true, “We live our lives not according to what people think about us, but according to what we think people think about us.” What we think people think about us, dictates how we live. What we think God thinks about us, dictates how we live.

If the greatest truth in the Bible is that God loves us, doesn’t it make sense that they greatest lie is that He doesn’t? If God’s greatest command to us is that we should love one another, doesn’t it make sense that it would be the prime target of Satan at which to aim? And where does it all start? It all hinges on our ability to believe first that God loves us. Believe you are loved and you will be able to love. Miss it and you will forever be . . . measuring.

Luke records the story that Jesus told to a Pharisee (who, BTW, thought it was all about measuring up); anyway, the Pharisee had invited Jesus in for a meal. And while He was there, a woman fell at Jesus’ feet crying. The Pharisee criticized the woman before Jesus because he knew she did not measure up; to which Jesus said, ‘She loves because she knows her sins have been forgiven. You do not love because your sins have not been forgiven. To you it is still about measuring up.’

It is not on us to measure up that we might then get close to God; it is on us to get close to God that we might then measure up. God is not as much after your perfection as He is your affection. I think the same is true regarding others. People will not like you because you ‘measure up’; they will like you because you love them.

So in this season where love is celebrated, love and don’t hold back. Don’t let Satan rob you – and others – of what God knows we need the most.

 

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