There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love. We love because God first loved us. – 1 John 4:18-19
GOD’S WIDE-OPEN LOVE:
I didn’t intend to keep posting VBS related blogs, but – with the grandkids in the house – VBS is pretty much one hundred percent of what’s happening around here this week. Besides, there’s not a single lesson the children are learning that doesn’t translate well for the rest of us too.
Wednesday evening the color theme was green (I think all the different interpretations of “green” were a little less rigid than the solid block of obvious red most of the kids showed up in Sunday). Then the scripture lesson was – and if you listen closely I believe you can still hear the echo of enthusiastic voices – “GOD WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU!”
For the rest of us – the so-called sophisticated adults writing and reading this blog – it’s a timely and necessary reassurance, “out of the mouths of babes…”
Hijacking the message….
You see I’ve noticed an increasing and disturbing tendency of many who huddle under the banner of “Christian” to wrestle the message away from God, add some fine-print, and then reissue the invitation with their own (our own) qualifiers attached: “God will love you only if you agree with our narrow interpretations”; “God excludes those of you who fit the following categories ______, ______, _____”; “God subscribes to our doctrinal dogmas, and the rest of you don’t qualify….”
As if Jesus decided to privatize and outsource the admissions department of his operation, then subbed out contracts to various bidders who now have carte blanche to include or exclude according to their own criteria. Oh, the absurdity!
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. – John 3:17
“God will always love you!” The children sing with their hands held high and their faces alight with the beautiful blessedness of understanding that simple and redemptive truth.
So today I’d like to invite the rest of us – the adults who tend to complicate the message – to allow the beautiful blessedness of God’s wide-open invitation to light our countenances too.
Be blessed, and be at peace, and know you are loved – DEREK
DAY 4 pictures:
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.