the beginning of Love

painting_the_earthThere’s a part of me that believes, if I do something big for God, he will love me, he will value me more, he will pat me on the back and say, “good girl, faithful servant.  I desire my heavenly Father to love me.  God designed mankind with a desire to be loved, cherished and worthy. but there are times I live as if His love depends on me; on how well I do, how successful I am, how competent my performance is.  I don’t want to be like the  unfaithful servant who was thrown into the place of gnashing teeth because I hid my talents, I want to hear, “well done!”but God’s love depends on his work, not mine.  Its not his verbal affirmation that proves his love, it is his work that reveals it. Let’s face it, we are always trying to put ourselves in God’s place. but while his love does not depend on my works, does that mean that i am released from those works?

“I will always trust in God’s unfailing Love, i will praise you forever, o God, for what you have done.” Psalm 52:9

“For we are God’s masterpiece . He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, to do good works, which he prepared for us in advance to do.” Ephesians 2:10 – it is Good to do good works and to desire to do good works.  these good works God expects from those who are in relationship with him, who are made anew in Christ, but we do not have to prove our love to God through those works, nor must we accomplish them without his help.   We only need to receive the proof of his love for us through what he does. when we  receive, then we have a love based works, rather than a works based love. that love based works are walking in and accomplishing what he has prepared for us to do with his spirit as our power.

When my kids do something good, I’m proud of them, I’m happy, I feel good about myself. Its easier to hug and be friendly toward them, when they are obedient. When my children, on the other hand, do something grievous… GRRRR. I still love them, but I say to my husband, “do you know what YOUR children did today”? Suddenly I disown them. when they obey i draw close and want to be near them, when they disobey i want to withdraw from them, because i feel hurt. even  God seems to wax and wane towards man, towards his chosen children , he gets mad when they disobey, he hides when they sin, he gets angry when they transgress. God seems, at times to forsake them, even allowing them to be cursed, plundered and taken captive when they do evil. He gets fed up, and he stops speaking to them…in short , the things a loving parent does, when provoked withdraw his relating and interactions, in order to draw them back towards his love.  He doesn’t stop loving he stops relating temporarily. our sinful choices drive a wedge between us and God.

God knows we cannot walk in perfect righteousness. Which is why he sent his son, to fill that unbridgeable gap that keeps us from the arms of God. He fills it with HIS righteousness, so we can receive from God in his presence. As I read through Genesis 1-6, the first Torah portion, I realize God doesn’t just love me, he is in love with me. Love isn’t even a good enough word to describe God towards man. The beginning of his creation is the beginning of his love revealed. As I read why he created and to what lengths he went to create and how he brought forth life, knowing the whole story…knowing the end…I feel his love radiating from the Word like heat off a furnace. I feel his favor, it comes into sharp focus when i meditate on his Words.  when this happens, it is the spirit working, regardless of how we perform, his love and favor performs work in us. It does not change, it was there in the beginning before we did anything successful and according to all we would do sinful. He already knew and he still chose to move forward with his children. He adores us. He is fervent, zealous, and fanatical towards his creation, but especially towards his offspring. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. I see his power, I see his sacrifice, his giving, his unfathomable intimacy with all he made, I see a glimpse of his heroism and his incredible power, knowledge and grace. All that I desire in life broken up into millions and millions of tiny pieces is found in him. this work the spirit does in us to reveal God’s Love to us,  provokes us to do good works. It is the WORK of God, which reveals his love, whether making the world or dying for it.

He is El Shaddai. Shaddai, means enough. He is enough. In this portion we catch a glimpse of God’s favor and His constant , unrelenting reaching out to his newborn creation. before we could do even one thing good he hovered over us with great affection. His love is enough, he is enough.  If he had ended his interaction with all he made right then and there, it would have been enough. But he kept communicating his favor to man, he continued revealing himself and expressing his heart.

Never once is “love” mentioned in this first portion.  But it is there, his glory, his favor, hidden among all his works, little bits and pieces and seeds embedded into creation. He embeds his love, favor and future plans into those seven days, and how often while looking for the natural , we miss the spiritual implication of his work. His love is planted in the DNA of the world, we can’t always see it, and it doesn’t always look like “love”, but it is the very thing which gives man purpose, hope and life. It is the thing in us which desires and craves a Fathers love. Deep calls to deep. The love he placed in us calls to the love in him for us.

There will always be something innate in man which wants to please our Father,  and gain his approval. He wants us to do good works, not to prove our love and worth, to reveal the work of his son in us.  WE do need to be faithful with what he has given to us, and he has given each of us a measure of faith, to accomplish the works he created us for, but we must remember we don’t need to do good,  in order to gain his love, but because of his love, which was there in the beginning and will be there in the end, and will be revealed wherever he is working, in us, around us, before us, behind us. and this is a good place to start.

Colossians 1:15-21

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.



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