Delighted!

God is delighted with you.

No, God is not disappointed with you. He delights in you.

He is not delighted with you because of who you are or because of what you’re becoming.

He is delighted with you because of what Jesus did and because of what Jesus became.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

No, God is not disappointed in you. As I’ve said many times, there is nothing you can do to make God love you any less and there is nothing you can do to make God love you any more. As Pastor Shane Lilly said yesterday, “God is madly in love with you and there is nothing you can do about it!”

He loves you with an enduring, steadfast love and because he delights in you, He sings over you! (See Zephaniah 3:17)

Listen to His love song today.

What lies beneath…

There’s a guy in a group I’m a part of who’s very quiet. He’s very thoughtful; that is, he’s a thinker. But he is seemingly unfriendly and aloof. When he talks, he speaks articulately and he makes you want to listen. He speaks with passion, but almost with anger. He seems sad. Angry and sad. Or just plain sad.

If you were to meet him on the street or in the store, you might be offended by his gruff attitude. You might just write him off. He wouldn’t be the ideal person to try to befriend, or even have coffee with. He just sort of rubs you the wrong way.

Everything I’ve described is about a real person and yet it may describe someone you’ve encountered. I think we all have. But the thought process I’ve just gone through is something that Jesus warns against: judging others.

Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.” (John 7:21-24, NLT)

There are other verses in which Jesus warns against judging, but in this passage, he says that sometimes we have to dig deeper. We have to use some discernment. There’s probably more happening than first meets the eye.

So it is with the folks we encounter each and every day. The grumpy cashier behind the counter. The waitress that seems frazzled. The guy in men’s group that seems aloof. They all have stories and some of those stories involve tragedies. Some of their stories involve divorce. Some of their stories include getting a bad test result or the sudden passing of a loved one.

As James Bryan Smith says in The Good and Beautiful Life, “Philo of Alexandria is quoted as saying, ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.’ ”

Sometimes, I simply have no clue. Lord, give me eyes to see what you see, ears to hear what you hear, and a heart to feel what you feel. And then, the obedience to respond to your leading.