I am loved by God...
Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness."
Romans 8:38,39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 3:17-19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
I John 4:16-19 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him. 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. We love because He first loved us.
February 21, 2011
Are You a List Maker?
“I'm a list maker. At my house you'll see a magnetic notepad on my refrigerator where I keep a running grocery list. By my bedside is a notepad for jotting down writing ideas. I have a notebook where I keep a daily to-do list and a long-term to-do list. And of course the best part of a list is checking something off when completed!
“For years I kept another list. It wasn't written down. Instead it was a mental running list I didn't even realize I was keeping, until I experienced a perspective-shifting situation.
“After my second son, Tyler, was born, I went through severe post-partum depression. It wasn't just the baby blues. It was days and days of crying, anxiety and no sleep. I had a newborn baby, a four year-old son, and a pilot husband who would soon go back to work. I was completely overwhelmed with everything. Finally, I called my doctor who prescribed medicine, but it would take a couple of weeks to work. Meanwhile, I had to figure out how to get through each day.
“Every morning I woke up early, prayed, and begged God to take the depression away. But the depression didn't go away. In fact it deepened as I listened to the lies depression shouted: You're a failure. What's wrong with you? Why can't you do this? You only have two children and you don't even have to work full-time. Other people go through much harder things and you can't even do this.
“One day when I just got sick and tired of being in such a miserable state, I yelled at God, What is this about, God? You're God. You could make this depression go away with the snap of Your fingers if You wanted to. Why won't You?
Finally, I was just still. As I sat there, I realized God wanted me to learn a life-changing truth. I had kept a mental running list of all the reasons God couldn't love me. I wasn't a good enough wife, a good enough Christian, and certainly not a good enough mother. When I was struggling with postpartum depression, I didn't feel like a good anything. So I sure didn't believe God loved me unconditionally. I believed God loved me - but I believed He'd love me more if I could get my act together.
I wonder if you're like me, keeping a running list of the reasons you mistakenly think disqualify you from God's unconditional love. Maybe like me you don't feel good enough at anything or you've struggled with depression. Maybe you have a secret that makes you feel ashamed - you've had an abortion, you've been unfaithful, you drink too much, you scream at your kids or husband. Maybe you've been divorced and that makes you feel unworthy of God's unconditional love.
“When I gave God my list of reasons why He couldn't love me, I finally heard God's gentle answer in reply. Well, it's a good thing My love doesn't depend on you, My child. It's a good thing My love doesn't depend on you.
You can scratch all those reasons off the list. In fact you can tear up the list. I did that when I died on the cross for you.
“Are you ready for a change today? Are you ready to stop beating yourself up for your flaws, shortcomings, or sins? God is not keeping a list of your mistakes, and you don't need to either. Tear up your list and don't start a new one. Choose to believe today God loves you. There is nothing you can do or not do to change His love for you.
“Dear Lord, thank You for not keeping a running list of my mistakes, shortcomings or sins. Help me truly believe, to the core of my being, that You love me through and through, for now and always. I don't have to help You love me by being perfect. Let today be a defining moment where I tear up my running list and receive Your unconditional love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.”
© 2011 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
I think Jeremiah 31:3 speaks volumes to God’s love for us being totally about HIM and not about us. The children of Israel had been sent into captivity for their multitude of sin – they were told that they would be there for 70 years – and that they needed to settle down and accept their punishment. It would be REALLY easy for them to believe that God was finished with them now – they were in a foreign land, held as slaves and captives – with no hope for a return to their homeland in the foreseeable future. If I’d been one of them I can imagine what I’d be thinking – “This is it – I’m going to die in this God-forsaken place. My life is over. My faith is ruined. God doesn’t love me/us.” A pity party – that’s what I’d throw. BUT – Jeremiah says “NO!” “There’s a hope and a future for you. God has loved you since the beginning – and He hasn’t stopped – He still loves you! He will ALWAYS love you! AND – a time is coming when He’s going to do something so radically new that you’re not going to believe it! The hope of the WORLD rests in YOU, His Chosen People! He’s going to make a New Covenant with you – He will write His words on your Heart – not on tablets of stone. People will come from all over the world to see how much your God loves you!” You see – His love for Israel is not about Israel – it’s about GOD! He has chosen them for His own reasons and purposes. His love for me – for you – isn’t about us – it’s about HIM! He has chosen US for His own reasons and purposes! SO – take heart – if you’re in the midst of a trial – or dealing with the consequences of sin and disobedience, don’t despair – don’t give up – God is still madly in love with you!
I’ve just finished a 6 week study with someone from our last group called “Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People” – it was awesome! It really made me think about my own misconceptions about what God expects – how I develop my relationship with Him will be changed because of the freedom I feel after this study. If you’d be interested in going through this study with me, let me know – I’d love to go through it again!
International Executive Director
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Chula Vista, CA 91911