God, Like, REALLY Loves You
We've made it to day 4 y'all!
I've been having daily headaches for an unknown reason this past week. Please pray about those. Also, had another job interview, pray that I get that job that God intends for me right now.
I just want to be able to serve God.
Today's readings are:
Goodness, this is a great way to start a book. Like, dang. Here is how you write an intro paragraph, in case any of you students were ever wondering.
Anyways, John was the more spiritually driven of the Gospels. They all have their pros and cons. But this was the one that was written after a serious amount of sitting on theology by John.
(Important note: John the Apostle. Not John the Baptist.)
So, something important to take from this: God has been here since the beginning.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They were all there before anything else, in community and Trinity, before the Earth existed. Jesus has always been. And God has Jesus as part of the plan since before Adam and Eve. Jesus wasn't created just before He was born. Jesus has always been a part of God and working with us since, well, us existed.
A big take away from this reading is in verse 5. God shines through all darkness.
Yes, even that.
Darkness has never, will never, and, honestly, can never over power goodness and light. Sin will never win. God will never lose. You never have to worry about who would win in a fight. God always wins. God's way will always prevail.
And, what is our role in God's plan of shining through the darkness? To testify to the light. Our role is to share with others who still feel trapped in the darkness about the amazingness of God and how it is that He shines in even the darkest places. Why? So that, with enough stories about how God works, they will start to recognize the light in their struggle as God and not as more darkness.
That's our main job on Earth. To share about God. Share how God has touched each of us and used us. And why we choose to continue to be used by God. So many of us spend so much time trying to do God's job (controlling things and making things happen), instead of what we've actually been tasked to do (be still and know that He is God).
Remember, God is everything that is good in you. God is the reason that you shine, God is the reason people are drawn to you. Everything you like about yourself was put there on purpose by God. Because He loves you and has plans for you that can only be done with your specific skill set.
It's honestly amazing to think about how we are God's. Yet.... so many of us refuse to acknowledge Him or admit that we are His. He made us! And yet we, so often, deny our creator. When we choose to openly acknowledge God, and when we actually give Him the credit He is due for all of His work in our lives, we are adopted as His children. We are adopted, not as the ugly stepchildren, but as the heirs. He will give us His entire kingdom, all of His power and glory.
It isn't lineage that decides whether or not God loves you. It has nothing to do with your family or parents or anything like that. It's entirely based on you, your heart, and your love for God.
John is amazing for bringing us all of these truths in 14 short verses. But it's all true. God loves you so much.
I really love this Psalm.
Every verse was highlighted in some capacity. And I had to stop myself from writing an entire book about the feelings I had while reading. It's great, okay?
Those who don't have God, don't fear God. They don't understand the stakes to their actions and therefore aren't moved when they, honestly, should be worried about the long term effects of their actions. They act without remorse, because they don't see why they should. The short term, the earthly, is all that matters to them.
But, because they're worried so much about the short term, their days are filled to the brim with worry and stress and putting out the fires they made. I personally might be have some light stress about what God's plan is for me, but I don't worry that much, because I know God has it handled. I can't imagine a life where I'm worried all the time about everything. Because I know God is going to keep me down here until I do everything He needs me to do.
Anyways, those without that level of trust in God spend their time convincing themselves and everyone around them that they're okay and that they're doing the right thing. They must always be right and always be seen as good and such to everyone around them. Me? I know I'm not perfect and I know that I'm gonna fail. I try my best, but I am not afraid to mention when I slip up. I'm gonna be wrong sometimes, the best thing I can do is not beat myself up over it.
But, these people that live in that cycle of having to constantly be right? It gets to the point where you can't even trust them anymore. Some people get so into the habit of lying that you have to disregard everything they say. Even if they say something "good." You have to disregard it anyways. As it was not said with pure intentions and was still done with malicious intent.
Example, Joel Osteen. He is a rat. There is no way around that. He always has to be seen as good, always has to be right, always has to be in the limelight. That must be exhausting to be making up so much fake theology in order to keep on everyone's good sides. Anyways, even if he suddenly started to actually say things that would be considered theologically correct today, I would still disregard anything he says. I would know that he was just saying it in order to get attention and have people pay less attention to his money grabbing ways.
Moving on, thank goodness God has good judgement. He has perfect judgement. He is Judgement. Trust His judgement instead of trying out your own. You'll be led astray a whole heck of a lot less. And, honestly, I am so grateful to the fact that God loves me enough to let me know when I'm about to get into a whole heap of trouble. God loves you no matter what. No matter what you have done, no matter what others are doing to you. No matter how alone you might feel. God is with you and loves you. And that is something that keeps me going, to be honest.
Just remember, all that good judgement and good traits and such are all from God. They aren't from you. Don't get a big head about it or start to be prideful. Redirect all that praise you get to God instead of to your own head or ego.
This is the last of Job's rebuttals to his "friends" after he had everything taken away from him.
Reading it out of context from everything else really made it hit me.
Job has some pride issues.
I'm reading this, and I see that he whines a lot about how he doesn't command respect anymore when he walks into a room. As if the respect of others is how God judges you. He whines about how people don't fall all over themselves at his feet anymore. As if that was a sign of God's love.
God never leaves you. It doesn't matter how good or bad you have in on Earth right now. God doesn't leave you. God is always lighting your path.... He doesn't just turn of the lamp as Job accuses Him here. God lights your path as long as you're looking for the path. Sometimes we feel like we can't do it anymore and we sit down in the middle of the path. But God still has that path lit, even if you're pouting.
Remember, how others treat you has nothing to do with how God loves you. Sometimes God has purposefully had the people who He loved be reviled so they would grow in the ways that He needed them to grow. Like King David, who was forced to be on the run on fear of death by people he once loved. But... was David ever hated by God during that time? No.
And the same is true for Job. God still loved him through it all.
And the same is true for you.
God still loves you. Right now.
This is the last chapter of Exodus! And it covers the set up of the Tabernacle.
It's.... kinda boring.
But, my Bible has a really awesome note that really made this bit all come together for me.
Did you know that the instructions that are in this final chapter of Exodus have it so the Tabernacle was set up in the shape of the Cross?
God knew that Jesus was going to die back in the times of Moses. As I said earlier, that was His plan since before anything was. He knew He was going to sacrifice Jesus for us. And therefore had signs about Jesus throughout all of Jewish history. God's love and plan for humanity was shown back then as He was setting up the Law that Jesus would fulfill. God always knew how He was going to bring us back into His family.
And, once it was set up, the visible presence of God descended onto the Tabernacle and filled it with His glory.
I wish I could have seen that.
I got a lot more out of this this time due to me doing the Bible reading first in my journal and then collecting my thoughts and coming back to this. Instead of trying to read and translate it into a written piece all at once.
So, I hope it reads better for you, because it was a lot more fluid to me.
Anyways, I love the string of Jesus throughout the Bible. And I love this study I came across for purposefully showing how the string weaves its way through the Bible. It really helps the Old Testament parts seem so much more alive and real.
I just loved all the reminders of God's love. That we are God's family and that He loves us more than we could imagine. That He's always rooting for us and always guiding us, we just have to listen.
I actually had a small group thing tonight that was focusing on this same idea: that God is always guiding us and always loves us enough to forgive us when we stray, but we gotta get better at getting on that path. That we can't brute force our wants and desires, because God's way is the only way that doesn't have you slam into a wall over and over again.
God is good.
All the time.