By now you’re probably ready to take a deep breath. We are just over half way through this 50-day immersion into understanding our identity in and our obedience to Jesus.
I want us to remember something. Our passion and drive for Jesus is not what makes Him love us more. Remember He loves us perfectly and solidly because of His perfect record credited to us. We stand accepted by God on account of Christ—not in how much we pray or witness or give or obey.
Now those things are very important, but let us remember that we are saved by grace and we are sanctified by grace. It may sound by now that all this radical activity for Jesus means that we somehow earn brownie points with God depending on how radical we truly are. The more “sold out” for Jesus we are the more He is bound to love us and bless us. That is simply not the gospel.
You may obey Jesus faithfully and tragedy may hit you and it may be God’s will for you to suffer. He may or may not bless you financially or materially just because you’ve made the commitment to go deeper with Him.
The ultimate point of this entire journey is to gain more of Jesus—not the stuff that Jesus gives as great as that is.
Listen to a quote from John Piper: “If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauty you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there.”
How would you answer that?
Read Psalm 46:10-11
Sometimes we need to be still before the Lord and realize that His love for us endures forever and does not fluctuate depending on how much we do for Him.
In other words, when we fail or when we’re not “on fire” or when we’re not witnessing, God’s love for us doesn’t lessen. On the other hand, when we’re obedient, and walking in love, and sharing our faith, and doing everything right, God’s love for us doesn’t heighten.
His love is a constant perfect love that is not based on our performance, but on Christ’s performance in our place.
We need to constantly remember our identity and preach the gospel to ourselves daily. If not, we could begin to think that we can do all these radical things for Jesus and make these major commitments for Him and that because of that, He is somehow bound to love us more or bless us more or make things easy for us.
That is not how it works. God is sovereign and He is ordaining and orchestrating things for our lives in His providence that may bring blessing or may bring heartache. But in the end, He is doing it to make us look more like Jesus.
So don’t give into the prosperity health and wealth theology that says that God is obligated to bless me because I give him so much radical obedience. It will be a blessing anytime you obey God, but remember He doesn’t love you more or less but perfectly based upon Christ’s death and resurrection in our place.
Read Job 1:20-22
Can we praise God even when He takes away? Can we bless the name of the Lord even in the midst of our pain?
Only through the gospel of grace can we do this. Let us pause for a moment and be still before the Lord and bask in His sovereign love for us in Christ.
You give and take away, but my heart will choose to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord!” I want to be still before You! I desire Your presence today whateve that entails—hardship, blessing, trials, joy, adventure, obedience, or suffering! Please help me not to buy the lie of the prosperity gospel. I want to bask in Your grace and in turn obey You today through a life of worship.
In Jesus’ Name,