I got this email a few weeks ago, and thought it appropriate to share on this Good Friday. This is from a lady in South Carolina who has been recently been reading some of the materials from Lifestream.
I just had to share this with you. I went out to eat with some friends tonight and (they were talking about a recent message they’d heard) about Christ on the cross and the two thieves and how we have destroyed out lives through sin. One repents; one does not, But… tonight as we shared that story I saw something incredibly awesome for the first time. I saw two men hanging next to Jesus that He loved with every bit of his being and one of them knew it and the other did not! I am telling you my eyes are seeing clearer and clearer.
I’ve just finished So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore. A friend gave me He Loves Me a couple of years ago and I’m in the middle of it now. I really believed I knew that Jesus loved me. I really did! But..,
I had no idea. After 32 years of trying to love Jesus with everything I had in me, I am beginning to get sight of what lays ahead! No words to describe!!!
That Jesus loves each of us has never been the issue. Somehow religion gives us the mistaken idea that there are some folks, those who work hard to please him, whom he really loves, and then there are those who don’t, whom he hates. When the love of the Jesus has never been the question. He lovesâ€”all of us! The question is only whether we’ll embrace the reality of his love, or deny it to our own destruction.
Sad, isn’t it? You would think that the one thing 32 years of living in Jesus would produce, would be the security in his affection that allows us to awake to each new day surely grounded in him. Instead, religion makes us busy with doing well-intentioned things for him, instead of coming to rest in the certainty of his affection for us.
And don’t try to tell me that those motivated by the fears of religion do more for God than those who rest secure in his love. I know better than that. Those who respond to the fears of religion may be caught up in a frenzy of activity they think is for him, but it the long run it is only for them and their hope of earning an affection he’s already given. While I will always acknowledge his graciousness to use even our misguided efforts for his glory, they can also cause much hurt to others in the process.
The people that I think are doing the most for the kingdom, are those who live each day in the security of his affection and do what he puts on their heart WITH him, instead of trying to do a bunch of stuff FOR him. And if it takes 2 days, 10 years or even 32, I pray you come to know just how loved you are and learn the joy and freedom of living in that reality.
I will be ruminating on the death and resurrection of my Older Brother Jesus this weekend, and all he did to secure for each of us a place in Father’s house. My parents and kids will be coming over this weekend. We’ll probably hunt a few easter eggs with Aimee. And then Sara and I are taking some days off. Her Spring Break began today and this year we’re going to enjoy some time off with each other! YIPPEEE!!!
I pray you all have a blessed Easter as well!