This morning I got yet another revelation of an area of my life where I still have bad theology.
Confession: Deep down, I still believe that God's feelings for me are attached to my performance and actions. I still allow my ministry effectiveness, behavior and choices impact how I feel. When I am DOING enough for the Lord, he is happy with me. When I miss my devotions, his is upset at me. When I worship, he comes near again. When I sin, he runs away again.
THIS IS BAD THEOLOGY!
My behavior is not the steering wheel for His love. When I am sinful, he is just as near and loves just as much as if I were sinless. If this is really how the love and grace of God works, than it is not a very special gift. And it is certainly NOT free like I have been told for years. No. I have to earn it to get it. Rubbish!
Paul makes a brilliant, and even angry plea for us to understand this theology in the book of Galatians when he writes to the Galatian churches about law vs. faith. After the Judaizers told the Galatians that Paul's gospel was messed up because it was missing law, Paul gets ticked and brings the gospel to them again in stark terms. Watch this:
- 2:16- A person is not justified by observing the law, but by faith is Jesus Christ.
- 2:21- I do not set aside the grace of God. For if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.
- 3:2-3- Did you receive the spirit by observing the law or believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?
- 3:5- Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by your observing the law or by your believing what you heard?
- 3:18- If the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise...the promise that God gave to Abraham and all of us who believe.
I could go on. But, I hope you get the point.
I know you have heard this 1,000 times before, but let me say it again. JESUS LOVES YOU!! Right here and right now! And there is nothing you can do to tweak his love...to turn it up or turn it down. So stop believing the Devil's lies and thinking Jesus is drifting near and far based on your doing. While you were YET A SINNER HE DIED FOR YOU! He won't change his plans now. Trust me. So receive his love. And while you are at it...check your theology. Because I can think of 10 people right now who are mature christians and still live like this. Maybe you do too?