Father Fridays—God Is Love

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8 NIV)

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10 NIV)

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18 NIV)

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:19-21 NIV)

God is love. Friends, I have never seen a love like this before! God has unrelenting love for us!

So what does God being love have to do with us?

Well, since He is love, we can only truly know what love is when we look at Him.
God gives us the perfect definition of love.
His love doesn’t have levels. His love isn’t based on what we can do for Him.

He never holds back His love. He loves us unconditionally.

God shows us in many ways what His love looks like.
He gave His only Son so that we might live.
He chooses us all. He wants all of us.
We don’t have to work to gain His love. We already have it!
He isn’t judging us. He isn’t waiting for us to make mistakes. He is never disappointed.
He knew what He was getting into, and He chose us anyway.

God tells us that if we love Him, we must also love our brothers and sisters.
God wants us to love others around us. He wants us to love all of His children, even the ones that have yet to come to know Him and love Him.
Again I say, I have never seen a love like this!
Our God sees all of the mistakes in our lives, but He loves us anyway. He even goes further to say that He forgives and forgets them all. He doesn’t hold our past against us! He doesn’t even remember it.

Since God is love, it only makes sense that we should look at His definition of love. We need to look at how God loves us and, in turn, love others around us in the same way.
What if people sin against you? You forgive and forget. You don’t hold their past against them. What if people make mistakes? You love them anyway.

“To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:9-10 NIV)

I pray that you would seek after God and find out what love really is and means. I pray that you would start loving everyone around you in a God kind of way. I pray that as you start to understand what God’s love really means, it will set you free!

Love, Kathleen 🙂

Our perception towards God

Many of us think that God is moved by our behavior. One might think that he’s moved to anger when we make mistakes and when we keep on sinning and we keep on messing up. You know, we mess up every day. Every single day, I make a mistake. I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt. I can spend my time lamenting over my behavior and beating myself up and thinking that God is mad at me. “He’s so disappointed in me. I’m sure he’s shocked by my behavior.” But God knows everything. If you really believe that he’s the beginning and the end and the alpha and the omega, he knew you were going to mess up before you ever did. Amazing.
First of all, we think that he’s moved by us—maybe in a negative way—towards anger or frustrated or disappointed in us. Sometimes when we’re serving or we’re doing really good, we’re performing well, we haven’t made a mistake yet since 8 AM that he’s proud of us or he’s excited or he’s thankful that we’re working for him and working so hard or he’s proud of the way we’re serving.
Some of us might think that God is moved by our prayers. When we beg him and tell him or remind him of his promises, he’s moved; that he decides, “You know what, your prayers are so effective because you’re so righteous. I’m going to go ahead and move on your behalf.”
All of those pretenses—there are many more, but of all those—they’re just all wrong. The truth is that we can’t get any more righteous in Christ. We are the righteousness of Christ and nothing can ever change that. Not our bad behavior, not our bad performance, not our serving, not our good behavior, not our kind gestures, our generosity—nothing can ever change our righteousness. It can’t increase and it cannot decrease. Amazing.
We are the righteousness of Christ. Every prayer we pray is effective. It doesn’t matter if you’re the pastor of a giant church or somebody who works at your local 7-11. Your prayers are as effective as he other one and you know you are the righteousness of Christ and you’re seated at the right hand of God with Jesus. It’s amazing.
We are the righteousness, but what moves God is that you said yes to him; that you received the gift of his son; that you have chosen him. He has sought you out, he brought you to him but you said yes. You didn’t have to say yes to God.
You know, since I was a young girl, as long as I can remember, my whole entire life, I know God has been wooing me. For 26 years, I said no. and then one day I finally said “Yes, God. I want to be with you. I want to be your child. I want to know you. I want to know eternal life. I want to know life with you instead of life without you.”
God is moved by our yes. He is in love with our yes. He is moved because we love him and he loves us. He loved us before we ever said yes. He sees you when you have the choice to back off or back away and shrink back, he sees you and he knows what you’re doing. When you say yes, he is moved. He is so thankful and loves you deeply. He has no respect of persons and he loves no one more and no one less.

Milk Spill? – "No Problem"

When I was young, everything got negative attention. Every negative thing I did was highlighted with a flashlight. When I became a mother myself, I vowed never to treat my kids in that manner.

One day, Chandler spilled her third cup of milk all over my floor—the carpet, of course. I thought I was going to lose it.

The day that Chandler spilled her milk was later the same day that I had vowed that I would not lose it. So every time she spilled her milk, I responded with, “No problem.” But every time I said ‘no problem,’ I really said it behind gritted teeth—because I really didn’t like the spilled milk everywhere. But I refused to respond out of my emotions. So I would say, “No problem.”
God showed me, when she spilled her milk for the third time, that in this moment, the spill does not define who she is. It doesn’t define her. She’s not a klutz. She’s not a spiller. She’s not negligent. She’s not irresponsible. She spilled her milk, for goodness’ sakes.

So Chandler and I laughed and talked about the fact that God and I loved her so much and that would never change. No matter how bad the milk spill was, no matter how bad her mistakes were, he would always love her; and so would I.

Later, I read in Jeremiah 1 about who I am in Christ. In Jeremiah 1:5, that he chose me, he formed me in him before the creation of the world. I realized that in myself, I did not fully believe that I wasn’t defined by my actions. I actually believed that I was defined by the mistakes I had made.

So I was sitting here laughing and having a wonderful conversation with my child, telling her that she’s not defined by her mistakes, that inwardly feeling like that’s what I had based my whole identity on—was being defined by my mistakes. The constant criticism that I received as a child come back in my life as a broken record. Every single time I failed, “You’re a failure.” Insert Jeremiah 1.

So when it came time for me to try new things, I would say, “Oh, I’m not good at that. I don’t wanna try it. Because if I do, I might fail,” and I honestly wasn’t willing to do that.

Today, I take all those negative thoughts and those parental tapes captive and I replace them with the truth of God’s word in Jeremiah and in Ephesians.

And today, I believe by faith, even when I don’t feel like I am God who says I am, I know who I am. I’m not defined by my actions. My mistakes don’t make me a mistake. I take these thoughts captive in my own life and they make me a better mom every time the milk is spilled.

Today, I can tell my children without reservation, without gritting my teeth and there’s no frustration—I can tell them who they are in Christ and that the milk spill is no problem.