This week our children were asked “How would you describe yourself?” as part of an assessment in their kindergarten. Our daughter answered “I am beloved and I don’t pick on my brother”. That got me thinking. If I felt this delighted to hear that my child knew she was loved…how much more our Heavenly Father would be delighted if we truly embraced his love and grace? How wonderful it’d be if all God’s children could say with confidence “I am beloved and I don’t pick on my brother.” The first statement is always true even if the other one is not.
This world is a cold place, not much love floating around. But we love because God has first loved us. The only way to be loving is to first experience what it means to be loved. When our lives brim with love we are able to love others. I try to tell and show love to our kids on a daily basis. I always say “Daddy and I love you SO much but our Heavenly Father loves you much, much more”. God’s love is bigger and better than anything else. And God loves us forever and ever. This gives us confidence to face anything that comes our way.
My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him. Again, this is God’s command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us. (1 John 3: 18-24, MSG)
The free online dictionary tells us that confidence is trust or faith in a person or a thing. Problems start when we place our trust or faith in wrong places.
If we place our trust in other people, we will be disappointed.
If we place our trust in ourselves, we will be disappointed.
If we place our trust in things money can buy, we will be disappointed.
The only lasting confidence comes from placing our trust in God.
It is the only way to shut down debilitating self-criticism.
It is the only way to be bold and free before God!
It is the only way to live our lives with God-given confidence and say “I am beloved and I don’t pick on my brother”.
The first statement is always true, even when we come short of fulfilling the second. But the more we live in the Spirit, the more we are able to practice real love and extend that love to others. Living as a child of God is nothing but living in love. It’s all grace, nothing but grace.
Thank you for your wondrous love!
We delight in it!
We are beloved!
Enable us to love others
like you love us.
Give us more and more
confidence in you.
Empower us to live in love.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U:How would you describe yourself? Are you confident in God’s love?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace God’s love and share it with others!
Image courtesy of Evan Schneider