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This is What He Did

February 19, 2011

I feel giddy.  I feel like I’ve just fallen in love.  I keep seeing in my mind a little foal running and jumping in the grass.  This must be what John Piper meant by Christian hedonism.  This feeling of absolute freedom in God.  No worries, no fear, only trust.  I’m happy.  I’m not just happy.  That word doesn’t describe it.  I’m joyful.  That’s a better word, but not the whole story either.  I’m joyful because God saved me.  He saved me from myself and let me be myself.  No more effort in trying to please Him.  He already said he thought I was good.  He said that in the beginning before I ever did anything I knew I would regret.  Remember when God said that Adam was good?  God said in Genesis 1:31 that he saw everything that he had made and it was very good.

Do you follow that?  God thinks you’re very good.  He likes you.  He’s not just required to love you, He likes you.  He likes you and He knows you.  Jesus came to earth not to be God but to be man.  He already was God.  So, He came to earth to be a man and know everything, first-hand, that you’re going through and will go through.  It says in Hebrews that He was tempted in all ways just like us.  That was so He could be a fair judge.  He gave his life, not just in death, but His everyday.  He did this because He loves you with a love that we will not understand any time soon.  If you need to picture this I’ll help.

There is a small boy sitting at church.  As he looks around he sees lots of adults and old men.  He sees lots of old men and no one his age.  They are all talking at once and he has enough trouble understanding what they’re talking about when just one is talking.  He strains his mind to keep up, but today it’s just too difficult.  By the time he makes a mental note of what they’re saying they’ve moved two topics ahead.  He usually asks but today he’s tired of the frustrated looks he usually gets.  Today all he can hear is the other boys playing just outside the church.  None of the other boys ever stay inside with him.  Just once he wishes he could go outside and play with them.  But there’s this drive, this impulse, and he must stay.

There is a 12 year old walking a dusty trail.  He knows how hard he’s worked.  He’s told them and they’ve all had long talks deep into the night about it.  Don’t they understand?  Why are they so mad?  All he does is the right thing.  He never runs off, never back talks, he’s always at church every time the doors are open.  He’s so mad he could scream.  Why wouldn’t they have known he would be at church talking with the old men?  That’s all he’s ever done.  All that hard work and those old men finally appreciated him and now’s he’s in trouble.  But he goes along because there’s this drive, this impulse and this love beginning to grow.

A teenager just finished his work for the day.  He sits outside in the cool of the evening enjoying the tiredness in his bones.  He’s young and full of life and he’s worked hard today and it feels good.  His mind rests and a gentle breeze brushes his cheek.  He smiles at the simple pleasures.  Then he hears it; the sing-song pattern of a two girls talking about boys.  There’s that knot again in his stomach.  He knows, he knows very well, but that doesn’t help.  Most of the kids his age are married or about to be.  He knows nothing of this love.  He does want to be loved though.  He hears the girls talking and wishes they would talk about him, but they know too.  Sometimes he wants to scream, “What about me?  What about me?  Don’t you like me?”, but he doesn’t.  He doesn’t because he does know.  He knows now what is in store for him.  He relishes it now because he understands.  This love he does know and it drives him, pushes him, consoles him.

He’s 29 now and it’s almost time.  He sits alone on a hillside thinking, praying.  He knows what they’ll do to him, he knows.  Silent cries wrack his body.  It’s happening so fast now.  Maybe it’ll be better now though.  He’ll get to move around and not have to face all those people he grew up with.  They look at him sadly at best, at worst with ridicule in their eyes.  But that’s all over now because his time is quickly approaching.  He knows what they’ll do to him, but he also knows what He will do for them.  It’s all been worth it he tells himself.  All the studying, all the heartache, all the ridicule has all been worth it.  As he sits and looks down at the valley, the sun has just set and his spirit rises within him.  As he sits, the love that has been welling up within him is about to make his heart burst.  He can no longer sit but paces like soldier preparing for battle.  This love, this force, this life.

Are we not to get some happiness out of that?  Was this not done to give us joy?  I know I’m not the only one that likes when people do special things for me.  It feels good.  This feels great.  When was the last time you thought about anything like this?  Have you ever?  Jesus did not give his entire life for you so that you could be miserable but go to heaven.  He gave His life so that you could enjoy the cool grass under your feet.  He gave his life so you could laugh, cry with joy, feel and do it all knowing that without Him it’s just an illusion.  It is Jesus that makes it real.  It is His life lived for you that made His death the propitiation for our sins.  What I think we forget is that this was not easy for Jesus.  He had to overcome all the things that we have not overcome.  If he doesn’t live every day of his life for you than we have nothing.  But because he did live every day of His life for you we have everything.  This thought makes me happy, it makes my soul happy and it gives me hope.  This hope doesn’t disappoint like hoping someone love’s you in return or hoping you can pay your bills on time.  We’re talking about an eternal hope and because of Jesus it does not disappoint.  This hope doesn’t disappoint because the love of God is poured into us.  That is what I feel.  I feel the love a God.  It’s freeing, not oppressive.  It’s happy and not calloused.  This is the grace of God in which we live. We live here by faith and Romans 5:2 says that we exult in the hope of the glory of God.  Here are some synonyms for exult: be delighted, be elated, be happy, be in highspirits, be jubilant, be overjoyed, celebrate, cheer, jubilate, jump for joy, make merry, rejoice.

When’s the last time you jumped for joy over your salvation?  When’s the last time you had one of those “my heart’s so happy it just spilled over into a smile” moments during a time of worship?  Be joyful, be overjoyed, and be thankful.  God has saved us from ourselves but not to make us miserable.  He has saved us so that we can be ourselves and be joyful.  We can do this only because He saved us.  Remember, we can dance and celebrate and be happy at just the hope.  When’s the last time hope made you happy?  Let it.

 

 

 

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From → Preachy Thoughts

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