Do you know that Jesus loves you, without a doubt? I did not. Do you know that this love that I speak of is not based on what we have done but wholly on who Jesus is?
What He has said and done shows us His love — I have begun to understand that “what he did on the cross” reveals His love. This love was given to us, it was not earned from our own effort nor can it be.
This love cannot be and will not be taken away, it was given freely just like he gave himself up freely on the cross.
We live in a culture where things are earned not given. If you want something, go get it. Try, try, try. Work, work, work. Do, do, do. Then I came to Christ with this same thought pattern.
When I got saved I had this thought pattern: it was a “works” based mentality. This thought pattern lacked intimacy and lead to disappointment and shame. It was really draining and fruitless. When I was doing good I thought I was loved, when I was not doing so good I thought God was angry and didn’t love me.
I realised why. My Father was distant when I was growing up, so I tried to earn his love by doing things for him, but it was never enough. I thought I was not enough, like I was bad. I got saved and went through the same scenario holding onto that same thought pattern which lead to despair.
I was being deceived, I believed a lie. As if I could earn His love if I just prayed enough, worshiped enough, and did good deeds. If I just did more, He would love me more.
How he opened my eyes
I went to this place called The Jesus School and it opened my eyes. The Jesus School is a 10 day ministry school that focuses on what Jesus did on the cross and what it actually accomplished for us: that we were sinners and are now saints who have been given His righteousness. Now we live out of that righteousness in unhindered relationship with God.
(P.S: The above paragraph does not do The Jesus School justice and I encourage anyone to go there if God puts it on your heart.)
It took a while but finally I awoke to the truth, it had been looking me in the eye for so long. I was saved but my thinking in that area hadn’t changed. I was being conformed to the pattern of this world, my mind wasn’t renewed in that area. Our culture says earn, work, do. My relationship with my dad went the same way and it was never enough.
I could finally see the truth: I was living under the law which caused me to work, work, work but now I am living in the finished works of Christ. When He said, “It is finished,” He meant it. I do not have to work for His love. He has given it and now I can receive it. His love is truth even when my mind and emotions say otherwise, nothing can separate us from it.
“No power in the sky above or in the earth below, indeed nothing in all creation, will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans chapter 8 verse 39)
The truth is He has always loved me and He always will, and it is not based on what I have done, what I can do, or what I will do. He knitted me together in my mother’s womb because He loves me. When I was lost in the world He came after me, called me and loved me when I didn’t even know who He was. So how, oh how, did I ever believe I could earn His love.
God’s love is upside down to our culture. His love is freely given, not earned. It is a Holy Love, a Pure Love, and the most Loving Love there is.
Now we get to sink into it like we get into our favourite shirt,
putting it on and living in it.
Never taking it off.
This Scripture rings true now and forever. It is universal and I missed it when I believed a lie that was rooted in pride.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians chapter 2, verse 8-9)
Shane Rowney is currently living on the Gold Coast serving in a local church. He enjoys surfing, gym and music but most of all spending time with his Father.
Shane Rowney is currently living on the Gold Coast attending a local church. He enjoys surfing, gym and music but most of all spending time with his Father.