What Else Could He Mean?

My friend Jim sent me this comic the other day asking if I’d seen it. I’ve enjoyed a number of comics by “the naked pastor”, but had not seen this one. I think he’s right of course.  He Loves Me is a great place to begin. Not sure he meant the book exactly, but why else would he put it in quotes!  If God’s recommending the book, you might want to take a look.

If I had only written one book it my lifetime, I would have wanted it to have been He Loves Me! Of course most people think they already know God loves them, but few people actually live like it. This is about learning to live in the reality of his affection. If we do that it will change everything.   There is nothing more important for us to understand about God and us than that we are deeply loved children of a gracious Father.  It is in knowing that love and living in it that all the life of God unfolds in us. When we’re trying to earn that love by whatever religious gymnastics we’ve been taught, our life in Christ becomes a fruitless drudgery.

And if you want to see one of my favorite emails about He Loves Me, click here. It was from a bookstore owner in July of 2006.

In the last few weeks I’ve also received some wonderful email from people that have been touched by that book.

Ed: The most powerful, life changing book I have ever read. It sticks with you and forces you to chew on it for days until you have go back and read it again. Several times it literally dropped me to my knees in tears because of the sheer beauty of God’s love for us so masterfully described by Wayne.

Harvey : This is my favorite book yet to date by anyone—not because of the elegance of words, but because of the simplicity in which it lays out the foundations of a love based relationship with God. That is already at work in each and every one of our lives, whether we are aware of Him or not, even and maybe especially to the most broken of us.

Dennis: This book was the beginning of a total transformation for me. No longer do I feel bound by rules, having to conform to please God because I failed over and over.

Jan: I have picked up your book He Loves Me and read it again and finding myself truly grateful and freshly overwhelmed by the gracious amazing love of God. I love your surrender and thank you for sharing it. I came from a family where it was taught “love was a useless emotion,” so you can imagine the outcome. I am the only one out of a family of eight that has stepped into the “gap” and broke a lot of family abuse for my four children and now twelve grandchildren. Miraculous as this has been I find myself still wanting the caress of the Fathers love and feeling the daunting of laying down effort and striving and bathing in Papa’s rest. I am thinking of doing a gathering around your book He Loves Me because it hits the need in all of us for significance and the deep need to be connected and most assuredly loved. I cannot think of any other book that hits the “need” for humanity so exactly. The true mind and heart of God is so clearly revealed.

Anonymous:  I read He Loves Me in the very beginning of all this but I don’t think I received a whole lot of it since my mind was so locked up in crazy teachings. I just finished it for the second time and am now going through it again for the third time. I am continually blown away by what’s in there. I am understanding it so much better.

You can order He Loves Me at Lifestream.org.

8 thoughts on “What Else Could He Mean?”

  1. Wayne I love your book “He Loves Me”. But I believe the fathers love is more extensive than we can really grasp with our limited intellect. All the horrible stuff in the Old Testament (floods, murdering thousands, destroying cities etc.) has NOTHING to do with God who can only love, not kill and destroy. The bad stuff was caused by US because we turned away from love. I disagree with you on your understanding of Gods wrath … as I understand it God has no wrath, because love can only love. How could God who loves the Egyptian people as much as the Jewish people possibly send plagues and drown soldiers in the sea? Nope that was all human work which we attribute to God because we want to make him as unloving as us. Well I hope this may prompt someone out there to realize that God is just love and explore the depths of what that really means.

    1. Hi John. Well we certainly have some differences here, don’t we? I do not deal so cavalierly with Scripture and discard it’s words when it doesn’t fit my my interpretation. And don’t get me wrong, I think religion has misinterpreted Scriptures as well to make God into the bully you’re trying to save him from. But I do think there is a way to interpret Scripture that holds to its integrity and at the same time unfolds a loving Father, far better than we are. But that doesn’t mean there is a severity in love that seeks to protect the object of that love from death and destruction. I don’t see wrath as the opposite of love, and don’t even see it as some do as vengeful anger. I see it as an expression of love as the mother bear protecting her cubs from the approaching wolf. So, I don’t fall into the normal religious interpretations that you seem to ascribe to me here, but I’m not willing to assume God’s love looks the same as what I would think best. There is much in Scripture that I wouldn’t vote for, including a tree in a garden and a son on a cross. But somehow God saw those things as necessary extensions of his love to win us into his life and I am content to let God be the God that he is, not the God I want him to be. And where that diverges from my definition of love at any point, I’m more aware that there is much about love I don’t understand, and I’d rather grow in that than re-interpret God even by my own best wisdom.

      1. Thanks for the reply Wayne you are kind to indulge my diffent perception of scripture. One question I would like to ask you is how do you see Gods sending an angel to kill the first born son of all the families in Egypt to free the Jews as an act of love? It is interesting that God seems to ignore his own commandment “Though shalt not kill”.
        Now in the story of Jesus we do see so much love and forgiveness, no killing of Romans to set the Jewish people free, no murdering of first born to change the mind of the Roman emperor about the state of Israel. Here is a God of love who loves everyone equally so far from the God of the Old Testament. Am I trying to fit God into my interpretation, perhaps but just maybe God really does love everyone and does not kill, murder and destroy.

        1. John, I’ve put out in THE JESUS LENS, how I work through passages like this in Scripture, and don’t have time for a prolonged answer here that would ensure people don’t misunderstand. I accept Scripture as the revelation of God through tim and many different people that is an unfolding revelation of who he is. I don’t feel the need to have an explanation of every passage. Whoever wrote Exodus believed that God sent this angel of death to create chaos in Egypt and as an incentive to let God’s people go. Since this anchors one of the most sacred ceremonies of Jewish history, one that Jesus celebrated, and he made no comments to the contrary, I think we have to assume it’s true. I think you create a false dichotomy of saying either God didn’t do it, or he’s a murderer. There may be lots of reasons God acts in ways that seem unloving to us, but are essential in the unfolding revelation of his will and work among humanity. I don’t claim to be able to explain all of it, nor do I wish to discard it because I don’t understand it. If we don’t start with the Scripture as God’s revelation of himself, albeit through humanity who didn’t always get it right, then we’re all left to create God in our own image, and I’ve seem some horrible results of people who do that. As I’ve said there’s lots in Scripture that make me uncomfortable, like that tree in a garden, plagues in Egypt, and a Son on the cross. I believe God knows love better than we do and the full ramifications of loving broken humanity and making clear a way of salvation. If he did send that angel, he had a good reason inside his love to do it that way. I may not see it from where I sit, but I am confident that loving everyone doesn’t mean just letting them do what they want without consequence in the universe he made for us, or that all of his interventions will look like rainbows and puppy dogs. Sorting that out is far more complex than this space allows.

          1. Wayne I totally respect your position, but I see it a little differently. I think the writers of the Old Testament did not really comprehend the love of God, so God out of true love sent Jesus to correct their errors. Jesus in his life (miracles) and especially the parables like the Prodigal Son show us what Gods love is really like.
            God is always trying to get us to really understand his love so he sends us people like Mother Teresa, and even books like “The Shack” which sold 20 million copies because people’s hearts resonated with the story of a Father who truly loved everyone. I don’t think The Shack would have sold 20 million copies if Papa had killed the man who killed Macks daughter all in the name of a higher love we just can’t understand as yet.
            We turned away from love (God) and the result was this horrible world of sickness, suffering and death. Because God loves us like the father of the Prodigal Son he lets us play out our nightmare without interceding to save us. He knows that eventually we will see how painful it is to live without his love and we will return to him. He loves us so much that he totally respects our power to choose his love or our world of fear.
            Jesus came to show and teach us that the Old Testament was wrong, God does not kill, destroy and take first born sons, he just loves us like the father of the Prodigal Son who gives us everything and waits for our return to him.
            Love you Wayne and thanks for this conversation 🙂

          2. I don’t understand why you’re so committed to making this point here. I think you can find a loving Father through an interpretation of the Old Testament consistent with the one Jesus shared with his disciples who were on the way to Emmaus. He didn’t tell us it was wrong, in fact he fulfilled it in many of the things he did. You fix all of that by tossing it, when a re-interpretation of it in light of Christ could get you to the same place.

  2. Hi Wayne,
    I met you about a month ago in Amarillo at your farewell get together on Sunday. We visited briefly and I bought He Loves ME and my wife and I have just finished reading. One of the BEST books we’ve ever read! God led us to books by Christian authors beginning about 15 years ago and the path has been remarkable. each book took us another step to where he wants us and I don’t know if He Loves Me is the culmination or not but it certainly could be. Thank you so much for allowing HIM to use you in this effort. His Love really does make All the difference in the world.

    Blessings My Friend
    Pat Gowdy

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