A song from the Jesus Movement of the early 1970’s has been running through my mind today. The lyrics go like this, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning. Great is Thy Faithfulness O Lord, great is Thy faithfulness.” If the words sound familiar it is because they come from Lamentations 3:22-23.
Being finite creatures, we have a hard time contemplating things that have no limits, no end, and are ever flowing. But in these verses the writer, the Prophet Jeremiah, tells us that is how it is when it comes to God’s love and compassion for His children.
I want you to know something; this is a great truth that Satan does not want any Christian to fully embrace. He longs to keep us mired down by telling us that we are not worthy, that we don’t measure up, and that there are limits to God’s love. All lies!
We need to stop and ponder the fact that upon coming to faith in Christ, God forgave all of our sins, past, present, and future, not because we deserved it but because He willed it so. Before God we stand pardoned and wrapped in the robe of Christ’s righteousness. Nothing or nobody can diminish that love one iota. We stand before God totally justified on the basis of Christ work alone. We can add nothing to the phrase shouted from the cross, “It is finished.” Do you ever just let the wonder of it all percolate through you being?
Our endeavors to walk in obedience to Christ must never be linked to the thought that by obeying we gain favor in His eyes. Our obedience’s, as feeble as they may be, need to spring from a heart that has been overwhelmed by the love and mercy and grace of God. Or as the Apostle Paul put it, “The very spring of my actions is the love of Christ” (II Corinthians 5:14, J.B. Phillips Translation).
All too many Christians fail to apprehend the truth of God’s never ceasing love and His never-failing compassions, which are renewed unto the believer day after day after day. If you are attempting to obey God for any other reason than the fact that you are hopelessly, helplessly, head over heels in love with Him, then your efforts are legalistic works of righteousness with no merit as far as finding favor with God is concerned. We do because He did…not to get Him to do for us.
My love for the works of Oswald Chambers is rooted in the fact that he emphasizes being and not doing. He challenges us to fall in love Jesus because he understands that right doing flows from right relationship not the other way around. Of this I need to be reminded again and again because living within me is a legalist who is continually trying to butter up, persuade, and convince God that somehow, I am worthy of His favor because of what I do. So, periodically, God awakens me again with the wonder of His grace and like the father of the Prodigal Son, He reminds me that all He has is mine, always has been, always will be.