This is probably one of the best podcast interviews I’ve ever had the joy to participate in. And, not because I was particularly brilliant but because the host was so hungry to interact on the content of He Loves Me. I couldn’t have been more surprised. I usually don’t do things targeted to men because so much of “men’s ministries” are filled with performance and accountability.
This one wasn’t. The host, Jim Ramos, had not read my book previously, and when he did, it hit him right where he is on his own journey. He wanted to process what I had experienced in moving from performance-based living to embracing the Father’s affection. I loved this conversation.
Jim said of my book, “This book is so rich and so good. It hits the heart of where men are. We need to get this book in the hands of guys. Performance-based religion is the default for men in America, and it has been mine… Your writing style is simple and heartfelt, very fluid, and easy to read.”
It’s a great conversation sorting out what it means to be transformed by love, instead of trying to earn God’s approval from our own efforts. We talk about all the biggies—wrath, fear, love, and transformation. To me there are two great benefits of living in the Father’s love, not only do we get an ever-deepening relationship with him, but we also get the fruit of that relationship in the growing transformation in our own lives.
Too many people who teach grace and love, only go so far as giving people comfort from their guilt or works. That’s not enough for me. Living loved lets us engage him in a growing relationship of tenderness, and as we live there, love begins to change the way we think about everything, and with that, we begin to live differently. Instead of being captive to our sin and less stellar appetites, we get to experience what a growing trust in God’s love produces in us, a freedom to navigate life with his purpose in mind and not so manipulated by the whims of others.
If you’ve been raised in the Christian religion, then you’ve been deeply schooled in performance-based living. The real fruit of grace is not an excuse to remain in our captivity to sin, but in how it “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,” Titus 2:11-12.
And he’s the one doing the work in us, not us trying to do it for him. If that’s where your learning curve is now, this podcast may help you.