Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Conditional Love

I have been reading the book Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus. Good stinkin' book. It goes through the deepest desires of our soul. Right now I'm reading the part about our souls desire... no, need, for love. God created us to be human beings that need love to survive.

The problem is though, the world, and I would argue even religion have taken love and created a subtle premise that love is conditional. And we've come to this point where we are more comfortable with conditional love than we are unconditional love. If it is conditional, we can control our actions and our thoughts and we can control the things about us that people will love. We have no sense, no understanding of an unconditional love. How can we accept the greatest love of all when we and others can't love every part of us?

A passage of this book says...

"Its just too hard to believe that if you come near to God, you will find yourself not drowning in condemnation, but swimming in compassion. Jesus called to all who were weary and who found their souls exhausted to come to him and find rest. He is telling us that God will be for us our place called home. We run form God because we long to be loved and we have convinced ourselves that the One who is most loving could not and would not embrace u. We run from the one our souls crave. It is insanity to run from God and search for love."

We run from the God of the universe that gives an amazing, unconditional love because we know what we have done. We know who we are. And therefore, we think, because other people don't love us, because we can't love ourselves, that God wouldn't either. That is so untrue.

How can we break free from this feeling of being unloved. How can we convince our friends who feel so very, very unloved that they are loved beyond all measure?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Simple Things

The Christmas season is upon. A time for laughter, cheer, love. It is during this season that people often open up the Bible to read the accounts of Jesus' birth. People who wouldn't normally go to church, step inside the walls of church for one special day to celebrate the birth of a man. It's funny how this one man unites believers and unbelievers one day a year.

I grew up in a Christian family. Every Christmas, my family and extended family act out the Christmas story with wise men dressed in towels and a baby doll Jesus. It's a story that I have heard over and over and over again. It's a story that we grow numb to.

Twice today though, I was hit over the head with the stark irony of this Christmas story. I don't know if people fully realize how perfect it is that the Messiah, my King, chose to make His entrance into the world in a manger! You see, he's God... he could have been born in a palace, in a place of pristine condition for that time period... but no, he chose to enter a messy and dirty world in a messy and dirty barn. And not only that, he came from parents that were not well known. It's so perfect.

And if you look at the scandal of the virgin birth... Jesus' coming was supposed to be sin, it is ironic though, that through His coming, sin was conquered.

Following God is not going to bring a life of extreme extravagance, or fame. In fact, following God may very well lead to an unpopular life. But that's a life that is beyond worth it.

God wants to save a lost and broken and messed up generation. People get sooo wrapped up in the idea that Christians have these perfect, comfortable, put together lives. But no! There are days that Christians doubt the existence of God, heck there are days even I myself don't even believe in a God. But that's what's so perfect, in all my doubt, I faith and I cling to the fact that I KNOW he exists and I know He is CONSTANTLY with me.

So this Christmas season, I want to follow my Jesus, who chose to enter this messy world, in a messy manger.