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Let me introduce you to love

I really didn't deserve that! There is nothing more "secure" than allowing God to deal with us according to his LOVE instead of what it is we honestly DESERVE! You and I may have found we have "tapped into" God's intense love so many times that it is hard to count all the times! I find it greatly comforting to realize God's dealings with us are according to his love - love is the basis of grace; grace is the basis of forgiveness; forgiveness is the basis of restoration; restoration is the basis of all relationship. It all begins with love! Love, pure and simple, yet we try to complicate it so much by our rules, regulations, and reasoning.

Let your love dictate how you deal with me; teach me from your textbook on life. I'm your servant—help me understand what that means, the inner meaning of your instructions. (Psalm 119:124-125)

The word "dictate" almost escapes us in this passage, but it carries an important meaning that lends to the richness captured in these words. It means to prescribe or lay down authoritatively or peremptorily - we think of this as commanding something in such a manner that there are no options for any other or opposing conditions to exist. In other words, God deals with us in such a way that there is no opportunity to deny or debate his love! Try as we might, there is no way of denying God's love because it is the very nature of who he is! Is the desire of your heart to be taught from the textbook of life? There are many avenues of learning in life - some significantly better than others. The goal of our heart should be that we have no other instruction influencing our life choices. We should want to be influenced by the love of God alone.

Love is the basis of grace. Grace is receiving what we don't deserve - it is also giving what another doesn't deserve. It is the intense favor of a holy God to bring an unholy people close to him through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus. It is NOT God turning his head away from sin, but it is dealing with sin head-on through the perfect sacrifice of his Son. Grace deals with the sin head-on, so that the sinner can be embraced full-on! Grace is the basis of forgiveness. Where mercy begins, forgiveness is allowed to take root. Grace gives us the "pardon", while forgiveness changes our perception of where we "stand" after receiving the full pardon. In other words, we "hear" words of pardon - forgiveness is the process of "walking out" the reality of the pardon. It is what leads us to desire to live a "changed" life.

Forgiveness is the basis of all relational restoration. Restoration is only possible when a way has been opened for one to be drawn close again. It is through the process of restoration that we are brought back to an "unimpaired" condition of mind, will, emotions, and soul - both in our relationship with God and with others. In realizing that we are dealt with "in" God's love, we move into a state of forgiveness in which we begin to recognize the reality of being made new in Christ Jesus. In turn, we begin the journey of drawing close to God because there is a re-establishing of what was lost by the entrance of sin - close, personal relationship. Love began the work - love completes it. It is good to know grace - it is best to know love. When we know love, we know God! Just sayin!

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