He didn't have to...

If you've known me for any length of time, you know that I am absolutely convinced that food is one of the ways God loves us. Think about it: He made a garden, filled it with everything beautiful to look at and good to eat, and put people down into it. One of the first things He did to love us was to feed us. And He's so creative with it.  Look at a banana sometime--individually wrapped, naturally occurring, easy to open, and delicious. Or any fruit, really--so many varieties, and none of them are the same. How about spices? Who would have thought that you could grind some little leaves up and make things taste amazing? God invented chocolate. Mmmmmm. And then, as a bonus, God gave us taste buds and a sense of smell so we could appreciate how amazing everything He made to feed us tastes. He didn't have to, but He did.

I was really frustrated today because I feel like I've been very dry in my times with God lately. Or maybe just down, or trying too hard, or being too hard on myself, or something. So I talked to God about that a bit, then opened my Bible. In my One Year Bible, I'm in David's story, and I hit I Chronicles 17 today, where David wants to make God a house, and God says, No, but I'm going to make you a house. David just goes and sits in front of the Lord for a while and says, "Who am I, or who is my family, that You should show me such favor? You have looked at me as if I were the most exalted of men, O LORD God." He didn't have to, but He did. And then in my New Testament reading I was in Romans 8: "What therefore will we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? If He did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who brings accusations against the chosen of God? It is God who makes righteous. Who is it that condemns? It is Christ who died, but rather was raised, who also is in the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. What will separate us from the love of Christ?Crushing or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or the sword? Even as it is written that, 'For Your sake we are being killed all day, we were considered like sheep for slaughter.' But in all these things we are completely victorious through the One who loved us. For I have been persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor rulers nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord" (8:31ff).

The love of God toward us in Christ Jesus is so great. He looks at us so differently than we look at ourselves. This is the opposite of shame. Several months ago, I heard a great definition of shame: that shame is looking at ourselves through the eyes of another and imagining ourselves found wanting by the other. But what God does is to look at us as if we were highly exalted. When the Other looks at us, He looks truth at us, looks justification and glory and chosenness and worth at us. He actively looks something different at us than we ourselves can see, and nothing can separate us from His love. He doesn't have to, but He does. And when He does this, nothing in our circumstances can change anything about who we are in His eyes. Nothing in our circumstances can truly overcome us, because He looks victory at us, looks love at us.

  • I got to have a week with Mom up here. She came up to teach a women's conference on discipleship. It was sweet to have her here.
  • The women's conference seems to have gone well. It was neat to see who came to it, and it was really encouraging to hear some of the ladies getting it.
Prayer Requests
  • Please pray for open doors for discipleship and evangelism. Pray that God will put it on people's hearts to start discipling other people.
  • Please continue to pray for God's provision for the Friendship Centre.
  • Please pray for divine appointments.
Thank you for praying!

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