Church Blog

Accepted by God

Posted by Geoff Lee on Monday, 15 February, 2016 @ 9:00 AM

Throughout this teaching series, I am going to write a weekly blog, reflecting on each chapter of the book “Embracing the Love of God” by James Bryan Smith, along with additional thoughts from the weekend message. In this first post, I will highlight some of my favourite quotes from chapter one.

“Many of us find it difficult to believe that God could look at us and smile.”

“For most of my Christian life I related to God on the basis of what I did for him. If I prayed well, studied hard, served much, and sinned little, then I felt reasonably sure that God was pleased with me.”

“I was afraid that my weaknesses would separate me from the love of Christ. Now I see that they cannot. I was afraid that my sinfulness would separate me from the love of Christ. Now I am certain that nothing will ever separate me from the love God has made visible in Jesus.”

“God loves me just as I am, not as I should be.”

“How do we come to know such love? We must ask for it. We must pray that we will come to know and feel this love.”

Frederick Buechner writes: “If you have never know the power of God’s love, then maybe it is because you have never asked to know it – I mean really asked, expecting an answer.”

“Dearest Lord, let your holy love possess me wholly.” (Alphonsus Liguori)

Julie Nash said...

Posted on Tuesday, 16 February, 2016 @ 10:05 PM -
Knowing deeply down in our hearts that we are loved by God can feel illusive, but this search we are on - to ground our Christian faith in a heartfelt belief that God loves us unconditionally - is one we must not give up on. 'Embracing the Love' of God helps us on this journey and the first challenge we are faced with in the book is knowing God's acceptance. As I re-read the chapter I smiled at some of the quotes I have underlined:

"We have love but God is love. His love is not an activity. It is his whole self."

"There is something in us that God finds loveable."

"In Jesus we hear God saying to us ‘What you cannot do for yourself, I myself will do. Your sin stands between us, and you cannot remove it, so I will do it for you."

"For too long I was impressed with my commitment to Christ; now I am only impressed with Christ’s commitment to me"

And probably my favourite was James describing God challenging his feelings of inadequacy, saying
"Jim, I have never used anyone one but sinners to share my good news, and I have never had it preached to anyone but sinners. The message is not about you, its about me."

It's all Good News that needs to be written in hearts like the words in a stick of rock - wherever it's cut it reads the same!

Amanda Moore said...

Posted on Tuesday, 16 February, 2016 @ 9:54 PM -
I'm really enjoying this book and the Sunday morning messages relating to it.

Being a Christian for over 30 years I have heard about Gods love countless times and knew that God was Love,the difficult thing being that I found it hard to believe that God really felt like this about me,I could believe it for everyone else but not so easy to really believe it for myself,and that he did in fact "smile " when he looked at me.
Some of things that I have been reminded of in the last two weeks since reading this book that have really stood out for me are-
"Loving is not difficult.Knowing we are loved is,and Learning to live in the reckless confidence that God loves us is a process"
"God's love for us cannot be changed.Why? Because it is not based on anything we do"
God has spoke to me since studying this book about his love, about the fact that I do not need to present myself in any way I feel is acceptable,no masks,but that I just need to come as I am and that God loves and accepts me,I do not have to strive to be perfect to earn God's acceptance,what a relief this is because it certainly is a lot of pressure trying to be perfect !!
"And this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us;for God is greater than our hearts,and he knows everything.Beloved if our hearts do not condemn us,we have boldness before God (1 John 3:19-21)

Thank you Lord that nothing can separate me from your love ❤️

Steve Kitto said...

Posted on Tuesday, 16 February, 2016 @ 6:28 PM -
I really like what James writes on God's acceptance not being earnt
He says-
When we give a gift we are saying, "you did not earn this, and I do not owe you this, but I want to give it to you because I love you."

I cannot do anything to gain God's love, although sometimes I still have to remind myself it has nothing to do with merit! God's love though, is a free gift of grace, and now I have it I cannot lose it.
This is a good book.

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