More than what we do…

January 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Sermons“God’s goods are not for sale; you can’t buy them with money or good deeds. God doesn’t make deals. God gives.”

Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge

Working through our Mom’s home was a huge undertaking. We had a five-day window to sift through more than 3,000 square feet and nearly-50 years of accumulation to decide what was junk, what we would sell and what each of us wanted to take home, before closing down the house we grew up in. Amazingly, between reminiscences, one more football game on our side yard, and picture-taking, we got it done, and by the time we left Miami, the house was empty, clean and on the market.

Somewhere in the mad dash we came upon a huge stockpile of tapes and CD’s, nearly all of which were sermons I had preached through the years. Before the dawn of podcasts and church web sites, Mom had my messages mailed to her weekly.

It took roughly one second to decide to toss the stash.

I can’t tell you that Mom listened to each of them, though I wouldn’t be surprised if she had. And admittedly, had I meticulously sifted through the titles, I probably would have categorized them according to how well or poorly I felt about each delivery.

But it wouldn’t be because of the quality of my messages that Mom continued to listen, rather that she loved and was proud of her son, just as she was of each of her other four children.

If there were any particular snare I fall prey to every single day, it is that every fiber of my being wants to believe that I am measured, and that my value is determined by what I do, rather than by who I am in Christ.

There is always a deep-seated desire to work myself out of my own mess, and perhaps more sinister, an even deeper unwillingness to accept that God is a Father who loves and accepts me with full knowledge of how insecure, flawed and disposed to sin that I will always be until I make it Home. Put another way, there is something within me that resists accepting that my righteousness is in Jesus rather than anything I have done or can do.

But has it ever occurred to you that love’s truest measure can only come, not when we are lovely, but when we are utterly unlovable?

This means that everything we need for the Father to lavish love on us as His children, Jesus secured on the Cross. The math is simple: ‘We love because he first loved us.’ (1 John 4:19). It’s all there…

What better news could there be?

peace.

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