DayBreaks for 12/13/11 – Why Jesus Loves Us, Trust #10

DayBreaks for 12/13/11 – Why Jesus Loves Us, Trust #10

Loving like the Father loves...

From the DayBreaks Archive, dated 11/21/2001:

Perhaps the thing that makes it hardest for us to trust Jesus is that we don’t understand his motivation.  Why would, or should, he love someone like me?  It just doesn’t seem to make sense and since others have abandoned their affections for us when we have failed them or hurt them or let them down, we are tempted to think that Jesus will do likewise.  I suppose that as long as we are here on this earth, it is somewhat presumptuous for us to try to explain his motives.  But when Jesus explains why he loves us as he does, it takes all of our guessing out of the picture and gives us certainty – and certainty is central to the concept of trust.

Why was Jesus attracted to the unattractive, why did he desire the undesirable and love those deemed unlovely by human standards?  Why did he love all those losers, failures and no-accounts?  Because his Father does.  ‘I tell you most solemnly, the son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees the father doing: and whatever the father does the son does, too.’”  (Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust)

Get it?   Why was Jesus drawn to the lowly of the world?  Because God is drawn to them – the son only can do what He saw the Father doing, so if Jesus was drawn to the lowly and humble, it is because God was first drawn to the lowly and humble.  If Jesus loved the unlovable while he was here on earth, if he loved the sinners that surrounded him, we can only conclude that he loves us when we are unlovable and even through we are sinners, because it is what God does and Jesus can only do what he has seen the Father doing – and he never changes, he is the same yesterday, today and forever.  That means that he loved you and me yesterday, today and forever.  If he ever loved us, he loves us now and always will!

When you slip up – he still loves you.  When you do some act of kindness – he loves you the same.  Learn to rest in his love and trust comes a bit more easily.

If you feel the call of the spirit, then be holy with all your soul, with all your heart, and with all your strength.  If, however, because of human weakness, you cannot be holy, then be perfect with all your soul, with all your heart, and with all your strength. 

“But if you cannot be perfect because of the vanity of your life, then be good with all your soul…yet, if you cannot be good because of the trickery of the Evil One, then be wise with all your soul…

“If, in the end, you can neither be holy, nor perfect, nor good, or wise because of the weight of your sins, then carry this weight before God and surrender your life to his divine mercy.

“If you do this, without bitterness, with all humility, and with a joyous spirit due to the tenderness of a God who loves the sinful and ungrateful, then you will begin to feel what it is to be wise, you will learn what it is to be good, and you will slowly aspire to be perfect, and finally you will long to be holy.   

PRAYER: For showing us how the Father loves, we love you…and we thank you!!!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/12/11 – The Far Side of Trust, #9

DayBreaks for 12/12/11 – The Far Side of Despair, Trust #9

From the DayBreaks Archive, dated 11/20/2001:

There is a caution about trust that must be stated in order to be completely fair about the topic.  Sometimes, we can confuse trust with presumption.  Presumption can corrupt trust and it works this way: we become presumptuous when we assign to God the job of doing for us what we should be doing for ourselves.  Brennan Manning gives this illustration of the problem: “One of the wise old birds of the AA fellowship, Father Joe Martin, uses the following illustration: Imagine a man who comes and says… ‘Father Martin, I want to become a great heart surgeon like Dr. Michael DeBakey.  I believe that all power in heaven and on earth belongs to Jesus.  So lay your hands on me and ask Jesus to infuse the knowledge and skill of DeBakey.  Then I’ll start my practice.’  Old Joe blinks in disbelief and says, ‘Son, go to medical school, and after you have finished your residency, specialize in coronary surgery.  Then apply to a hospital, attach yourself to one of the surgical wizards for several years, and maybe in thirty years you will arrive at the premier level.’ 

“Similarly, Father Martin says, picture a guy who comes and says, ‘…I am a hopeless alcoholic.  I’ve been drinking a quart of vodka, a gallon of Chablis, and a case of beer every day for the last twenty years.  I’ve read a lot of the miracle stories in the Bible lately, and I know that Jesus is the master of the impossible.  So pray over me and tell Jesus to set me free from bondage.’  Father Martin responds, ‘I’ve got a better idea.  Go to Alcoholics Anonymous, attend ninety meetings in ninety days, find yourself a sponsor, diligently work the Twelve Steps under his guidance, and read the Big Book every day.  In other words, do the hard work.’”

In short, we expect God to intervene miraculously on our behalf.  “The theological arguments that support an interventionary God are many and varied.  Frequently people report that they have experienced a physical cure or an inner healing.  And yet, as John Shea writes, ‘one brutal historical fact remains – Jesus is mercilessly nailed to the cross and despite the Matthean boast, twelve legions of angels did not save him from that hour.  No cop-out redemption theories that say God wanted it that way explain the lonely and unvisited death of God’s Son.  This side of the grave Jesus is left totally invalidated by the Lord of heaven and earth.  Trust in God does not presume that God will intervene. 

“Often trust begins on the far side of despair.  When all human resources are exhausted, when the craving for reassurances is stifled, when we forego control, when we cease trying to manipulate God and demystify Mystery, then – at our wits’ end – trust happens within us, and the unwanted cry, ‘Abba, into your hands I commend my spirit,’ surges from the heart.”

Trust truly does often begin on the far side of despair when we have reached the end of ourselves (and then some).  Trust doesn’t presume God will intervene (at least not in the ways we may think He should).  God has already done the most important intervention on our behalf.  Anything else will be anticlimactic.  If He’s already done the greatest thing possible for us, why won’t we trust that He’ll take care of the smaller, “easier” things, too?  

PRAYER: Help us to truly trust, and not to presume, upon You!!!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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