Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God thinks you rock the casbah

An Internet Cafe devotion

This is, without a doubt, the dearest thing to me that I have ever written. I am praying that this message penetrates your heart the way it has mine. Love, Mis

My son Ingram is 18 months old. Each morning he wakes up and cries out for his momma. I enter his room see him standing in his crib, swaying back and forth. He's so cute. He's just so stinking cute. No matter how cranky or tired I may be, as soon as I see his face, I break into a huge smile.

Ingram has bad allergies, so usually in the mornings his little smiling face is just caked in snot. Under his nose, and then wiped all over his face. There's often even some dried snot in his ears and hair. And his diaper is always full so the first thing that greets me, before I see his crusty face, is one of two stenches - or both. On a good day I catch a whiff of it as I walk up the stairs. And he usually chews on his crib rail while he waits so I also get slimed by drool.

He's a mess.

And oh, do I love that boy. My heart dances at the sight of his nasty little self. Covered in uck, I sing good morning to him, kiss him, and take him downstairs to begin our day.

Do I love this baby more when he is fresh from a bath and covered in lavender lotion? No. I love him, dirty or clean, because he is mine. He is my child and I would give my life for him.

Do you realize that your Heavenly Father sees you this same way?

For years, I was crippled by what I termed a Janet Jackson view of God, based on her hit song of years ago. I thought that God looked down on me and thought, "What have you done for me lately?" (Ooo, ooo, ooo, yeah.) And I always felt he looked down and said "tsk, tsk", disappointed because on any given day I had led zero bible studies, and fed zero homeless people, and hadn't even cracked open my bible.

And I had some sin. Lots of sin that haunted me. I felt like I was covered in snot, and poop, and drool - just covered. I was a mess.

I knew God loved me, he officially had to, the Bible tells me so, yeah yeah. But how could God possibly really love me, unconditionally, me being so stinky and sticky and such a flop at being a "good Christian"??

God impressed upon my heart - through a mentor - that God actually loves me. Really, really loves me. He delights in me.

Because it's not about me.

When the creator of Heaven and Earth sees me, I am not covered in snot. I have been drenched, soaked, dripping wet in the blood of the Lamb. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and because I have believed in my heart and confessed with my mouth that he is Lord, all God sees when he looks at me is a holy shade of white. I am clean.

Have you also believed that he is Lord? Then when he sees you, he sees the face of his perfect Son! God is not judging us with a naughty or nice list. His list always reads nice. More than nice: perfect and unblemished. The bible tells me so.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Hebrews 9:14

That's what it means to be washed in the blood of the lamb.

What a relief, y'all! It isn't dependent upon you! It's dependent on Christ, who is totally reliable to complete the work he began in you!

If you forget to pray or do or don't do quiet time or yell at your kids or gripe at your husband or are otherwise not the perfect Christian, his love is not diminished. Even if you are carrying around some "big" sin, God does not turn his face from you. No matter what you do or have done, he still sees you the same way that I see Ingram each morning: precious, perfect, and melting my heart with his beauty. The Lord of the Universe sees you with that same pure love and joy every. single. morning.

It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Every morning, I walk into Ingram's room and he laughs, claps, then reaches out his hands to me. I never fail to lift him up, embrace him, kiss his fuzzy head and tell him I love him.

When the Lord sees you each morning, he says, "That's my baby. She is mine. I gave my life for her!"

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name: you are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1b

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1a

Rejoice! Clap your snotty hands! Reach out and allow him to gather you into his loving arms!

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!
Psalm 47:1-2

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:8

Let him clean you up

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:7

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Mark 1:41

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience
and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:22

and feed you breakfast

My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Psalm 63:5

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
John 6:35

because he loves you.
About a million times more than I love sweet Ingram.

the LORD delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 147:11

How could believing this change the way you live your life?


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