Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why I Let Him Love Me

Ever since I came to know Jesus, I wanted to be more and more like him. At first, I tried my best to be as Christ-like as I could, but found that that was futile. Using a scripture that I have often quote, Paul the apostle said this, “For I know that in me (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (Rom. 7:18-19) What Paul was saying was that even though he wanted to do well, because of sin in his flesh, he did not have the power within himself to do so. And so it was with me.

So to make a long story short, after some years of struggle and seeking how to be more “Christ-like,” I found that the bible actually teaches that if I had accepted Jesus as my savior, (which I had) then I was already Christ-like. It was Paul again who said, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God…” (2 Cor. 5:17) I was like Christ already but just didn’t know it.

…But what of my erratic behavior and my occasional bad feelings, attitudes and other faults I could see in myself? How could I be Christ-like if I embodied these “un-Christ-like” characteristics? Well, to make another long story short, I found that the “new me” that Paul talked about, the new “Christ-like” me, was my “inner man” and that God had changed me on the “inside” when I accepted his Son. The key now was to get the new inner me from the inside to the outside.

So, shortening one last long story, I learned again from Paul that if I believed what God’s word said about me; that is, if I believed that I was already Christ-like, that a transformation would begin, and that my new “Christ-like” inner self would start to emerge into my outer, behavioral life.

Paul said, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Rom. 12:2) He was talking about how we think about ourselves, and that we should think according to what God’s word says about us, not according to what we see in ourselves. And this way of thinking will in turn transform us, bringing the new Christ-like person on the inside to the outside… “For as (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Pr. 23:7) This was exactly what I was searching for.

What I found was the New Testament way of living that Paul always talks about. It is living by faith rather than works, believing rather than trying.

What Paul taught was that in the Old Testament man was required to do, but in the New Testament man was required to believe. And it would be our believing that would transform us and empower us to do.

About New Testament living, Paul said, “… we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Rom. 7:6 NIV) Paul calls this new way of living “walking in the spirit,” (having faith in God’s word) as opposed to “walking after the flesh,” (trying in our own strength). According to Paul, the Old Testament was intended to prove to us that we could not fulfill God’s requirements without Christ, but that Jesus would be everything for us; both to save us, and to enable us to live the Christian life God calls us to live. Without the Lord, we have only ourselves. Ouch!

(It’s no wonder Paul wrote more than half of the New Testament. He knew so much!)

But even though faith is the key to salvation and to our Christian walk, there is something more encompassing than that. It is Paul again who talks about being “filled with all the fullness of God.” Wow! “, Filled with all the fullness of God!” That sounds amazing doesn’t it; but just as amazing as it sounds is as possible as it is. And Paul prayed for it to come to pass in our lives and explained how it could be done in Ephesians 3:17-19.
Now, isn’t that what we are after? If we can be filled with all the fullness of God, we will be filled with love because God is love. And of course if we are filled with God’s love guess what will flow out of us. It is love of course.

Now, simply put, if we want to be filled with all the fullness of God, we must let God love us. Until we let God’s love into our lives we cannot be filled with God because God is love.

When we accept Jesus as our savior, we let God cleanse us and forgive us and give us eternal life, (all part of his love). But there is much more he wants to do for us. Because God is endless, so is his love. He wants to love us endlessly.
People often complicate God. He simply wants to love us. He always has.

It is good to remember God’s original intention in creation. He intended mankind to be blessed with every possible blessing and to live with him in a paradise forever, and his will hasn’t changed. In fact, he sent Jesus to reveal his will to us, and to restore to us what we lost in the Garden of Eden; for here and for hereafter. Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (Jn. 10:10 Amplified Bible) It is the enemy who deceives us and portrays God in a way that is judgmental, disapproving and condemning. Yes, God will judge men on judgment day, but we are now in a time of grace. Because he is love, God sent Jesus into the world not to judge men but to save and deliver us from judgment and condemnation.

Remember the woman caught in adultery? Though caught in sin, and accused by men, Jesus would not lay blame on her. In fact, he defended her from her accusers. And when all of her accusers had left, Jesus told her that he would not condemn her, instructed her not to sin anymore, and sent her on her way. (Jn. 8:3-11) What a loving, forgiving, merciful God! And it’s a good thing or we’d all be in trouble. But we are not. Jesus died so that we wouldn’t be judged! And he rose from the dead so we could have life. What he wants now is for us to receive his love, his forgiveness, his blessings and the instruction he has for us. If we do this, we will be filled and blessed by him to the full. And once filled with him, we too can be like him and be a blessing to those around us.

Isn’t that something? To do what we are supposed to do and to be what we are supposed to be, we have to let God love us!
So, to be "filled with all the fullness of God." we must live a life of letting God love us more and more.

Let me close this article with something else from Paul’s writings when he said, “And now I will show you the most excellent way.” Then he explained that the most excellent way was the way of love. He said, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Cor. 13:4-8 NIV)

This is the way God is and the way he wants to be toward us. So why wouldn’t we let him love us? And how can we expect to love as he does unless we let his love into our lives?

That is why I let God love me… Because I want to experience as much of God as I can and be as much like him as I can. I want to be “filled with all the fullness of God.”

And just imagine… being filled with a love that never fails! That’s for me, how about you?

Submitted by John B. Agati
Author of : “Suffering, (God’s Will?)”

More information about this and an upcoming book “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing),” along with a short bio may be found at: www.

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