Reckless Love of God?

“Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. 

Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til i’m found, leaves the ninety-nine

I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending , reckless love of God, yeah”


ByCalebCulver,CoryAsbury,andRanJackson”RecklessLoveofGod”

I know many who have heard this song and have said to  me, “WOW!!How beautiful!” and then others I have seen say, “reckless? Gods love is not reckless!”

So I thought I would share my thoughts on this song. I honestly do not see how this has caused such controversy through some denominations. I see some have issues because it was a Bethel Music product, (Some have issues because Bethel ministries has been accused of doing things that seem sketchy. What? I am uncertain of. )

Let us look at what Cory Asbury meant when he wrote this.

Cory Asbury explains in the video below:

“When I use the phrase, ‘the reckless love of God’, I’m not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so.  His love  bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn’t consider Himself first. His loves isn’t selfish or self-serving. He doesn’t wonder what He’ll gain or lose by putting Himself out there. He simply gives Himself away on the off-chance that one of us might look back at him and offer ourselves in return. The recklessness of His love is seen most clearly in this- it gets Him hurt over and over. Make no mistake, our sin pains His heart. Yet, He opens up and allows us in every time. His love saw you when you hated Him- when all logic said , “They’ll reject me” He said, ‘I don’t care if it kills me. I’m laying my heart on the line”

Here is the thing,… for the first time today on the radio, I heard this song all the way through. As I listened to it, what I thought was exactly what Mr. Asbury said above. I thought, “Gods love wrecks my way of thinking. His love is not like what we experience with fellow man. God left heaven. Everything glorious, perfect and wonderful, because He wanted to make a way for me. He went out of His way for me! His love blows my mind!” 

How can we even fathom His love? Nothing can compare to the love of God. Nothing! We can come close in our earthly relationships but, it can not and will never, compare to Gods mind-blowing-reckless-perfect-unfailing love.

Many people want to nit pick (someone who searches for faults the way they might pick nits(lice) from someones hair) every single thing that comes out of ministries, theologians, other denominations, all so that they can “call them out” as false teachers/prophets etc. These same people nit pick the scriptures.  Though this is good to study Gods word, some things do not need such a microscopic study. Some things are clear. Like this song, in my opinion.

How petty it was to have received such a backlash, all because of one word. 

“RECKLESS”

My questions is:

Did you not hear the rest of the lyrics!? I get we want to make sure everything lines up with Gods word. How does this song not?

Scripture time:

Ephesians 3:14-19
For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[h] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Again, we can not fathom the Lords love for us? How deep it is. It truly “wrecks” my way of thinking of how Love should be.  That He would leave the ninety nine for just one! That would seem “reckless”.

That He would love me before I even knew about Him? That seems reckless to me too!

On another note 

A friend was sharing with me about the definition of “Prodigal”.

It is this: “having  or giving something on a lavish scale, spending money or resources freely and r e c k l e s s l y, wastefully  extravagant.” (Webster Dictionary)

Now, think about the Prodigal Son. His story is found in Luke 15:11-32. We know the Father gives his son all his inheritance. The older son see’s it as a reckless move of his father. But, nonetheless, the father gives it all. Giving him the best of everything.

God is like that to us. Knowing we don’t deserve his love, knowing we even may take His love for granted,  knowing that not all will receive His love, knowing that we will keep screwing up looking to other things to fill us but, He gives it anyways. His ALL, for us! THAT seems reckless to my puny finite mind. We definitely do not know His ways.  

SO, again, Why be so petty over one word? I challenge you to re-listen to that song with a different perspective. The perspective the writer was trying to imply.

Praise God His love is a Holy recklessness for us. Who else would give up everything beautiful and perfect for a wretched sinner like us?

How do I make lemonade?

Image result for When life hands you lemons make lemonade

HA! Easier said then done. We have experienced the “lemons” of life in one way, shape, or form. We question God, we question our existence…We ask “WHY?”

Life. Is. Hard.

And then we are told to make “lemonade” Really!?

How!? That means I need water and sugar.  How am I suppose to get that!?

Lets break it down..

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Water

Water is a life giving source. It hydrates and grows things. It refreshes or restores. Who is our “life giving source”? Is it a person? Is it music? Is it a drug or alcohol?  Is it GOD?

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Sugar

Now sugar makes things sweet. Just a “spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down” so says Mary Poppins in Walt Disneys, Mary Poppins. So, what can make your life sweeter? Is it a person? Music? Things? Drugs and alcohol? Fame? Money? God?

 

Let’s get real…

We all have had ups and downs. For me having a child who is handicap is a struggle in its self, but that on top of everything else……..life can be a tough one.

A pipe breaks, financial struggles from bills to… “how will I buy food?”, kids are not behaving in a school, relationship problems from marriage to family to friends, health issues, a death in the family, tickets, doctor visits and appointments, physical therapy, getting into an accident, having to pay two mortgages, selling a house, having problems with insurance, having problems at work, people starting rumors about you, people angry with you and you have no idea what about, laundry staying caught up, dishes always being cleaned, making sure you have enough to eat for the family…honestly….i have so much more I could share. And I am sure you all can relate with some of this?

Not only do I worry about the stuff in my life, but I get concerned and worry about those dearest to me. So that is added stress and worry (I know I put on myself) but, it’s because I hate to see those closest to me hurt or suffering.

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So how bout those lemons? Yeah…how do I find water and sugar to make lemonade?

I, thankfully, know the Lord. The LORD who is the Great I AM. He IS my ALL in ALL. I can not live this life on my own. I can not do it without GOD. When I try on my own it is a bitter life. It’s tough. I want to give in and give up. I NEED GOD!!

So, I see these struggles and trails and heartaches and I bring it before the Lord. Is it easy to do? NO!! Do I still get down? YES!! Do I spend nights crying before I officially give it to the Lord? YES!! Am I perfect? No! But the holy spirit talks to me. He tells me through a friend, a song, his word, a dream…that I need to cast all my cares and worries to Him.

Am I told more than once to do this? Yes! Because with each new trial and situation I forget. I want to soak in my lemon juice. I forget that God brings life giving waters and his word brings sweet refreshing to my soul. I forget that I can find hope and peace when I come to him.(Romans 8:6)

Sometimes I linger longer in the juice and forget to add water and sugar for a few days. (Lord forgive me) But, once I remember I am restored. I find joy again. I see clearly or clearer. I am reminded GOD is for me. I am reminded that, “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28

Image result for sugar water lemons

How do I make lemonade?

Lemon squeezing

Sure we get the lemons but, it can not become lemon juice until we crush it, squeeze every drop from the fruit.That is what turns lemons into lemonade. So, our trials or heartaches come but, once we bring it before the Lord, he takes our lemons and empties us. He brings out what we thought were awful and bitter circumstances, into a beautiful refreshing flavor. Not only does this benefits our lives but those around us. That how God works. We can,t make the lemonade but God can. He brings the refreshing waters and the sweet to our lives and take our bitter situations and makes it into something amazing!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8

Thoughts about Daniel (pt 1)

Daniel is one of my favorite books of the Bible. There is so much in it. Plus it contains one of my favorite stories(chapter 3).

So, I thought I would try to put together short blogs (“short” haha) about some of the chapters in Daniel. I may or may not go into great detail about the chapter. But, I want to share some things I have grabbed from it…insights, idea, questions, etc from my study of this book. Please leave comments questions insight as well!

Daniel Chapter 1

Something that I never really noticed before is that the Hebrews that we learn about in Chapter one, were from nobility.

“3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility 4young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians”

These boys(men) were not just any Israelite, they were someone of importance. Also we see here that these Israelites were to be,… well…perfect. Such high standards there by the King. SO, what we know about Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, is they were of nobility, handsome, learned, and “without blemish”. They seemed to “have it all” until they got captured. Interesting thing to think about.

Brings up other questions like: why did the king pick them to learn Babylonian thing? What kind of Enemey King would teach his “slaves” or captives literature and things of his kingdom? I just find it interesting after reading this story a few dozen times and that never sunk in. There must be more to this then what we are seeing. Were these four acting prideful so God allowed them to be humbled, by getting captured. Well, we do read on that they obeyed Gods ways.

“8But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”

They, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, CHOOSE not to eat the things that would defile their bodies. Things they knew God had told them not to partake in. They obeyed. They stood up for their beliefs. They were honored. And God gave them favor and blessed them with being healthier then all the others.

What can we take from this?

No matter who you are things can be taken away so easily. But who will you serve when/if it does? Will you trust in God through it all. Will you still obey what he asks of you? Even in dire situations?

This was just a first test that these men would go through. And though the “world” around them pressured them to “fit in” they stood their ground and obeyed God.

 

 

 

Strong enough? 

Do you ever get into ruts?  Days when you feel weak?  Moments when that shoulder is all you need?

I’m telling you what..it is so difficult to be the strong one sometimes. There are times,  to be honest,  I just break.  I cry.  I feel weak and vulnerable.  And…. Alone

Yes,  even though I’m surrounded by so many . There are days I just want to be wrapped up in my best friends arms and just be comforted.  Just letting it all out.  And being filled up with all of Him.

He knows me well,  after all.

But, there are days He feels so far.  I know it is my fault for His distance.  And that is most likely why I break every once in awhile.

He knows I will come running back.

I do because He is good to me.   He never fails me.  He’s always there even when I am not loving Him.

The days I break,  I suppose,  are the days I miss Him most.

Today was a day I needed Him.  Today I do not feel strong enough.  But, like always… I run to Him.

addiction

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Raw and unedited: i have a confession.

i share this not for you to judge me. but to say i struggle too.

i had an addiction. it was something so strong i could not get it out of my system.(i still struggle with it today) i needed everyday. from the moment i rose in the morning to the time i laid my head to rest. i needed it so badly. it was in every part of my life. i fed off of it. i craved it when i did not have it. it made me feel so good. when i took a hold of it it seemed to make everything better. nothing could compare to it. I. LOVED. IT! my addiction….Chocolate covered caramel with salted chunks (ok ok i am kidding i am not really addicted to it. and i didn’t have it everyday. )

but there are things we are addicted too. from tv to social media to a person or drugs. things that make us “feel” better. why do we run to those things? because we have not experienced Jesus!

to have an encounter with the most High God, i know we would never turn back to the things of this world.

this sounds extreme of me does it not!? anyone who knows me, knows I am a pretty held together person. so to admit I had an addiction would probably seem unfathomable. we all have things that we keep hidden as well. Things we would be mortified if someone knew. Secret sins. i’m not here to say i’m perfect. and i’m not here to confess my sins to you the reader. but, i am here to say..YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

we are all struggling with things. i have cried so much this last year about so many things that i should have just taken to God and allowed Him to handle it. but i kept it to myself and to one other. i should have poured it all out before the living God. giving Him all my cares and concerns first. all those times i have cried at night before bed, all those lonely moments, all those frustration, pains and hurts…i should have went directly to God.

see i knew this was what i was suppose to do. i knew the right thing to do and i didn’t do it.

i am here to tell you my friend….TAKE IT TO GOD!!! F I R S T!!!!!

i am having to retrain my self to do that. yes a person who has been in ministry and a christian for  years…i slipped and i have to retrain myself to give it to God first.

see God never stopped talking to me. i heard him. i just kept ignoring. i know what God has called me to do. i know what talents he has given me. and as part of the healing process i share this with you through the talent he has given me.

will i ever get over this thing that i went through? right now it is difficult to see. i’ve cried everyday this week. but…i too must…

GIVE. IT . TO.  GOD.

you are not alone. God loves you. He loves me. but we must give it to God no matter how bad, how sad, how frustrated you may be.