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Love Is off the Table

I think too often we pay lip service to the reality that God loves us “no matter what,” but we need to truly understand it.

My kids do some things that drive me crazy. I won’t go into a list now, but there are violations of trust, disrespect, boundary-crossing, and more. Not once after experiencing their misdeeds did I contemplate throwing them out in the street. Not once did I stop seeing them through the eyes of hope for their lives and future based on these transgressions.

I know it shouldn’t be, but we often think that God’s love is on the line if we screw up or fail. It was never on the table to be taken away. Whether you choose life, freedom, and wholeness or death, bondage, and being fragmented–He loves you.  He wants to see His will fulfilled in your heart and life because it will bless and prosper you as well as touch the world, but even if you don’t, He cannot and will not stop loving you.

Katie Davis talked about this as she related the struggle of being in the U.S. while her heart longed for Uganda. She recognized all the good while seeing the hardship as well. With all her heart, she knew God’s will, but she still had to choose. 

Like Katie, I don’t want anything less than God’s perfect will for my life and family. I don’t want to come up short while embracing my own comforts and justifying the choices I make based on what feels right or whatever comes down the road.

I also know this. If allow myself to live in fear that missing His will result in the removal of His love, I’ve already missed the mark. Perfect love casts out fear and enables me to walk in the victory purchased through Jesus’ blood. Staying in the flow of His love is what keeps me grafted in. Jesus prayed for us,

22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. –John 17:22-23 (NASB)

Being one as Jesus and the Father are one means living in that love and more importantly, living from that love. Fear of missing it won’t ultimately keep you from falling and it’ll wear you out. Fear (reverence) for Him and the experience of His love, however, keep us right where we’re supposed to be.

Your turn. What do you think about this? Do your fears ever get the better of you? Have you experienced that deep abiding love for yourself?


This is the part of our book club discussion for week 12 of Kisses from Katie (disclosure) by Katie Davis and Beth Clark. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for the widget and another great take. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please share your thoughts! We always appreciate a vibrant conversation.

14 Comments

  1. It’s easy to let fears overcome my knowledge of the promises of God, but I am learning to not feed that fear. What isn’t fed eventually dies.
    TC Avey recently posted..I’m Guest Posting Today- Come Find Me!My Profile

    • Oh yeah, absolutely. We feed that fear and let it grow, but we can’t even let it in the house or we’ll face a whole host of problems. Thank you, TC.

  2. I used the same quote today with a little different slant. After reading your post, I went back and re-read mine… I focused on the choice where as you focused on our journey -- our inevitable falterings and the restorative grace of His forgiveness.

    God loves us without doubt or condition:
    There is no fear in love… ( 1 John 4:18 )
    God is love… ( 1 John 4:16 )
    His love never fails… ( Psalm 136 )

    …but to have a saving relationship with Him, we must choose to follow Him. We cannot continue in perpetual and willful disobedience to His will and truly be His. ( 1 John 1:5-10 )

    When we fail, as we will, the Father will discipline us and work to correct our paths. If we choose to remain in sin, ignoring His correction, we do not truly have a relationship with Him… but we can… all we need to do is place our Trust in Him, repent, and submit to His will.

    I know His love. It has driven away my fear. I choose to follow Him.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..The Choice is Yours… So ChooseMy Profile

    • You’re right, Dusty. I may not have made that quite clear enough. I don’t believe that if we continue to follow Him, He won’t bring us into His will even when we make choices sometimes contrary. The more we know Him, the more we will trust and surrender. I meant to make the point that even those Christians who have chosen comfort at one time or another didn’t lose or diminish the love of the Father and there is still an opportunity to come into that fullness He has for us. Thanks so much, friend.

      • If we are His, He does not disown us over a bad choice.

        Thank you Jason! I always appreciate the grace and love of your approach.
        Dusty Rayburn recently posted..The Choice is Yours… So ChooseMy Profile

        • I’m so thankful for His love and grace in my life! Thank you, Dusty.

  3. Living in fear is no way to live and yet I will sometimes let it linger. I think I’m trying to leave myself an out…an excuse to not step out in faith. Thankfully the Father has challenged me recently about this and I’m stepping out more and more.

    Great thoughts bro!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..The Way of the KingMy Profile

    • “Leaving an out” --I think that’s a great way to describe what we do. We may call it “being safe” or “being wise” but if it doesn’t line up with His word for us, there is going to be a conflict and the more He wins, the more we win! Thanks Jay.

  4. Monday I saw the film “The Passion of the Christ”. I’ve seen it before, and I didn’t want to see it again, it is so hard to watch what my sins cost HIm. But I’m the “leader” of the group that wanted to show it to the rest of the parish, and “leadership” cannot take a walk…
    I’m glad I saw it again. He could of stopped the torture anytime He wanted by calling His angels to His rescue, and left me behind. He didn’t. He went through unimaginable humiliation and torture for my sake. He’s not going to leave me behind because I’m too scared to move forward. (And yes, I realize I should not be afraid, because I’m loved by He who conquered death.)
    Helen recently posted..BunBun SharesMy Profile

    • I know from experience that whether I should or shouldn’t be afraid is of no consequence, I just get scared for various reasons! I totally understand that, Helen. And yeah, it’s amazing to see the price He paid for us. Duty and obligation couldn’t have produced such a sacrifice, but His love could and did. Thank you, Helen.

  5. Fear is our flesh. The weakness that satan uses against us. I have a verse written out on a folded piece of notebook paper on my bathroom couter. It’s been there for somewhere around three years. It is from Isaiah 8:13, “The Lord almighty is the One you are to regard as holy. He is the One you are to fear, He is the One you are to dread.”

    This was written to people like us that began to fear their enemies more than fear or respect God. How disrespectful is it to fear the things or the ones who have to gain consent from God himself regarding our lives?

    I know you and I have been a bit out of step this week, which is okay, I too love the conversation. I’ve had some disagreements with fellow Christians on this matter before. With all due respect, while the translation from Hebrew for “fear” in this passage is first “reverence.” The second and beyond are things like, “exceeding fright.” (going off memory here).
    My point is, how can we not be in reverence, awe, and a little fear of the God who allows and sustains the cosmos at this very moment? Who spoke the world into existence! It makes me shrink just thinking about HIS OMNIPOTENT POWER!
    floyd recently posted..A JERKMy Profile

    • No, I certainly don’t mean to diminish the aspect of fear and try to use a “softer” word. For those living outside His covenant and choosing other gods, there is no hope without repentance. I’m certainly no Hebrew/Greek scholar by any means, but I looked up the Hebrew word when used in, for example, Proverbs 10:27, “The fear of the LORD prolongs life…” And the definition lists, “fear, terror, awesome/terrifying thing (object causing fear)” but then it says, “fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety, revered.” In Isaiah 8:13, this Hebrew word says, “fear, terror, reverence, object of reverence,
      awe-inspiring spectacle or deed.” The overwhelming thought here is still God’s awesomeness and our reverence of Him.

      Certainly, John in His revelation of Jesus ‘fell on his face as a dead man’ and there was a rightful fear in that holiness and weight of His glory and truth. Isaiah said he was undone as he saw the train of His robe fill the temple. I have experienced myself a depth of His presence and holiness that literally drove me to my face. All these things drive me to honor and worship Him more.

      Fear of anything else is unwarranted because if God be for us, who can stand against us? He is for us and He wants us to experience that living reality every single day as we choose Him. Thank you, Floyd.

  6. You can be the worst offender in the world and society will hate you forever but The Love of The Father will never hate you. I heard a story once about a Serial killer name Stephan Morin from Austin TX who killed 30 women. His what to be 31st victim was a strong believer and lead him to Christ and put him in touch with her pastor. Well her pastor turned out to be Kenneth Copeland and Brother Copeland taught Stephen how to activate his faith and in turn Stephan began to lead a bible study on death row. Stephen pleaded guilty because of his sins and got the needle. He payed his debt to the “american society” But its eternity that count’s and when we get to heaven Stephen Morin will be there.
    andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • That’s an incredible story of God’s love and forgiveness, Andrew. God gives us opportunity to repent and experience that divine and transforming love! Thank you.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dusty Rayburn - RT @br8kthru: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/59QFLzZJ
  2. MakeADifferenceToOne - RT @br8kthru: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/59QFLzZJ
  3. Jay Cookingham - RT @br8kthru: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/W10c1KuL
  4. Jason Stasyszen - RT @dlrayburn: RT @br8kthru: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/N8GSpnxe <<thanks Dusty!
  5. Jason Stasyszen - RT @strategicdad: RT @br8kthru: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/N8GSpnxe <<thanks Jay :)
  6. Helenatrandom - RT @br8kthru: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/VwCSKEV0
  7. Jason Stasyszen - RT @helenatrandom: RT @br8kthru: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/N8GSpnxe <<thanks Helen Joy!
  8. Glynn Young - Love is Off the Table, by @br8kthru at Connecting to Impact http://t.co/IBI6Pmdg
  9. Jason Stasyszen - RT @gyoung9751: Love is Off the Table, by @br8kthru at Connecting to Impact http://t.co/tnjEBVj5 <<thanks so much, Glynn
  10. Jason Stasyszen - New Blog Post: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/YgfQJNyd
  11. Jason Stasyszen - RT @kevinmartineau: RT @br8kthru: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/N8GSpnxe <<thanks Kevin :)
  12. Melinda Lancaster - RT @br8kthru: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/e6pAPHZj
  13. Jason Stasyszen - RT @heartcures: RT @br8kthru: Love Is off the Table http://t.co/N8GSpnxe <<I appreciate it, Melinda
  14. SA City Church - Connecting to Impact - Love Is off the Table http://t.co/e6uI8S36

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