Not Loved for Being Good

Love of God:Lewis

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Published in: on 04/03/2017 at 3:06  Leave a Comment  
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Who can stay away?

looking out window1 copyGrace is the ultimate attractor.
Who can stay away
from someone
who sees everything
wrong with you
and loves you even
more for it?

–Eric Nels Ortlund

Published in: on 10/18/2015 at 4:26  Leave a Comment  
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Love empowers change

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Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love. It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change.

―Richard Rohr

Published in: on 01/27/2015 at 13:01  Leave a Comment  
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Published in: on 03/30/2014 at 11:34  Leave a Comment  
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Amazing grace

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Grace means there is nothing we can to do make God love us more —no amount of spiritual calisthenics and renunciation, no amount of knowledge gained from seminaries and divinity schools, no amount of crusading on behalf of righteous causes. And grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less —no amount of racisim or pride or pornography or adultery or even murder.

Grace means that
God already loves us
as much as an infinite God
can possibly love.

–Philip Yancey
What’s So Amazing About Grace?

Not for sale

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Love is never for sale.
There is no currency—
material or moral—
by which the Divine smile
can be bought.

–F.W. Boreham

Embracing the wild wonder

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What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that it is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason. It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God’s love, a love we don’t even have to earn.

–Madeleine L’Engle

Friendship with God

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There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery can disillusion Him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me. There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see (and I am glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough).

There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose.

–James I. Packer
Knowing God

Nothing to prove

looking out at the bay

When we know we are loved by God,
we don’t have to prove
anything to anyone.
There is nothing we can do
to make ourselves more beloved
than we are.

–Jonathan Martin
Prototype

Nothing else will work

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The Gospel is the proclamation of free love; the revelation of the boundless charity of God. Nothing less than this will suit our world; nothing else is so likely to touch the heart, to go down to the lowest depths of depraved humanity, as the assurance that the sinner has been loved—loved by God, loved with a righteous love, loved with a free love that makes no bargain as to merit, or fitness, or goodness. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us!” (1 Jn. 4:10).

As the lord of the vineyard, after sending servant upon servant to the husbandmen in vain, sent at last his “one son, his well-beloved” (Mk. 12:6), so, Law having failed, God has dispatched to us the message of His love, as that which is by far the likeliest to secure His ends.

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With nothing less than this free love
will He trust our fallen race.

He will not trust them with law, or judgment, or terror (though these are well in their place), but He will trust them with His love! Not with a stinted or conditional love, with half pardons, or an uncertain salvation, or a tardy peace, or a doubtful invitation, or an all but impracticable amnesty—not with these does He cheat the heavy laden; not with these will He mock the weary sons of men.

. . . He knows that there is nothing
in heaven or earth so likely to produce holiness,
under the teaching of the Spirit of holiness,
as the knowledge of His own free love.

It is not law, but “the love of Christ,” that constrains! “The strength of sin is the law” (1 Cor. 15:56), so the strength of holiness is deliverance from the Law (Rom. 7:6). Yet are we not “without law” (1 Cor. 9:21), neither yet “under the law” (Rom 6:14), but “under grace,” that we should “serve in newness of Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

–Horatius Bonar
God’s Way of Holiness

Love does not mean approval

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We often confuse unconditional love
with unconditional approval.
God loves us without conditions but does not
approve of every human behavior.

God doesn’t approve of betrayal, violence, hatred, suspicion, and all other expressions of evil, because they all contradict the love God wants to instill in the human heart. Evil is the absence of God’s love. Evil does not belong to God.

God’s unconditional love means that
God continues to love us even when
we say or think evil things.

God continues to wait for us as a loving parent waits for the return of a lost child. It is important for us to hold on to the truth that God never gives up loving us even when God is saddened by what we do. That truth will help us to return to God’s ever-present love.

–Henri Nouwen
(emphasis added)

He knows it all and still loves

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How unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely. No talebearer can inform on us; no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us.

–A. W. Tozer (1897 – 1963)

A love that makes us better

The only people who get any better
are those who know,
that if they don’t get any better,
God will love them anyway.

–Steve Brown

Loved on the basis of grace

If God finds incentives for grace within himself,
then nothing in us can disqualify us from his grace –
nothing except a proud unwillingness
to be loved on terms of grace alone.

–Ray Ortland

Failures included

Grace is difficult to believe and difficult to accept. We want desperately to believe that God loves unconditionally, yet we keep adding conditions. “Okay, fine,” we say reluctantly, “but once we accept God’s grace, we’d better get our act together. We had better be successful or we won’t be worthy of his grace.” We just cannot believe God can grace even our failures.

–Thomas Merton
(1915 – 1968)

Published in: on 11/20/2012 at 9:23  Comments (2)  
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A devilish stronghold

There’s not a more devilish stronghold in believers,
than thinking if we would just do more of this or that,
God would be happy with us.

–Steven Crosby

Unconditional love

We often confuse unconditional love with unconditional approval. God loves us without conditions but does not approve of every human behavior. God doesn’t approve of betrayal, violence, hatred, suspicion, and all other expressions of evil, because they all contradict the love God wants to instill in the human heart. Evil is the absence of God’s love. Evil does not belong to God.

God’s unconditional love means that God continues to love us even when we say or think evil things. God continues to wait for us as a loving parent waits for the return of a lost child. It is important for us to hold on to the truth that God never gives up loving us even when God is saddened by what we do. That truth will help us to return to God’s ever-present love.

–Henri Nouwen

Published in: on 02/12/2012 at 20:45  Leave a Comment  
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Agape

Agape doesn’t love somebody
because they’re worthy.
Agape makes them worthy
by the strength and power of its love.
Agape doesn’t love somebody
because they’re beautiful.
Agape loves in such a way that
it makes them beautiful.

—Rob Bell

Published in: on 08/09/2011 at 4:45  Leave a Comment  
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