I Will Always Love You
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 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 8:38-39 NLT
I had an interesting reminder this weekend that my daughter, Mika, does listen to me after all. And yes, I’m sure all mom’s are smiling right now because we’ve all wondered about this at some point! Am I right?
There are days when I have to ask the same thing more often than I care to admit but then there are times when she surprises me with something that makes me realise that the important stuff really is sinking in.
My mom was a school teacher for over 50 years, and she was stricter than most parents I knew at the time. Our lives were pretty black and white and there was no stepping over the line. But one thing I always knew was how much she loved us and still does.
I’ve always tried to reassure Mika that my love does not stop when she is naughty and our conversation often stems from something she’s done outside of the set boundaries, and goes something like this:
'In the same way that Daddy-God loves us no matter what we do and there is nothing you or I can do to make God love us any more than He already does, there is nothing you could ever do that can make me stop loving you. God does not always like what we do, and our actions are not always in line with what He tells us in the bible, but even though we do not follow His instructions, He still loves us. So too, I might not like what you do, and you have to remember that there will always be consequences and sometimes punishment, for not listening to us and doing your own thing, but no matter what you’ve done, more importantly remember, that I will always love you.’
A trivial conversation - but I know the message has sunk in!
This weekend, as we were walking to church my handbag kept falling off my shoulder. I muttered with more frustration than the situation really warranted: ‘I love and I hate this handbag.’ She asked me why and I answered: ‘because it keeps falling off my shoulder and it’s frustrating.’ She turned to me and with all the wisdom of her 8 years, said: ‘Mom, instead of saying you hate the handbag, you should say that you still like the handbag, but you don’t like what it does.’ I had to giggle as this is a super trivial example - but clearly she understood the message I had been trying to get across.
But is this scriptural you may be asking?
Read: Romans 8:31-39
Here is an example that I read recently that may shed light on just how much God cares about us, even those who sin against Him.
Read: Genesis 4:1-15
This is the story of Cain and Abel. As you will recall, Abel brought before God a more pleasing sacrifice, whilst God was displeased with Cain’s offering. This decision was based on their heart attitudes as much as what they were bringing. Cain becomes really angry about this and his anger and jealously drives him to kill Abel. The first murder, ever. When God confronts Cain asking him where Abel is, instead of showing any kind of remorse, he challenges God asking him if he is meant to be his brother's keeper. God calls him out and lays out the consequences for his sin.
When Cain, still not showing much remorse, cries out to God that he may be killed for what he has done, God puts a mark of protection on him. Cain leaves but his sin drives him further away from God. God's hand is still on him.
When Adam and Eve sin and they eat from the forbidden fruit in the garden, they cover themselves up with leaves to hide their nakedness. Their shame and disobedience is what makes them hide even though God still comes to look for them.
What true love is this?
It’s something, as parents, we can only ever grasp a small glimpse of with our own children. How can we ever really grasp the true love of the Father, who sent His Son to die on the cross for us, except through our own experiences. Some of us will understand the magnitude of our own sin and the magnificence of God's forgiveness. There are also many accounts of people who forgive those who have wronged them in ways we can not begin to imagine - and this can only come from a heart who understands what forgiveness truly gives. FREEDOM.
Cain still had to live out the consequences of his sin and so we too, have to pay the price for the consequences of our wrong decisions and actions, but we take comfort knowing that it is for our own growth and we are never without God’s love or protection.
Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive?
What are you still holding on to that really it is time to let go of?
What have you done that you need forgiveness for?
Today, take some time to think about how much God loves you. Romans 3:23 says that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is nothing that we can do to come back to God, except by acknowledging and receiving the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
In your coffee time with God, ask God for forgiveness for anything you have done, are still holding on to, or have not yet been willing to let go of and thank Him for still loving you regardless.
'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.' John 3:16 NKJV
Lots of love