Loved by Deon Crafford
1 John 4:10-12 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
It is quite possible that most Christians’ walk begins with the euphoria of realising that God’s saving grace has been apportioned one and that henceforth there is no need for anxiety about the outcome of life. However, somewhere in the development of one’s faith, this euphoria slowly makes way for a much more compliance driven demand on one’s life and behaviour – compliance to a large degree being the product of the church’s processing of the sovereign Word of God. That initial joy in the intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, gets replaced by a much lesser joyful relationship of continuously falling short of God’s standard and falling into His judgement sword. Not long after this happens, our faith lives become burdensome and almost automated in meeting all the things that supposedly forms part of what it means to be a Christian. Sometimes it is those who should have most joy that display the greatest form of dejection, because let’s be fair, there is no joy in continuously falling short.
But God is sovereign and He will not stand by idly as untruth seeks promotion. Through the Holy Spirit God blows away all the automated and structured programming of being Christian and once again immerses us in a sea of love. We find in times like these that we forget about all we should be doing and we only savour the realisation that God dispenses love in abundance over us. In times like these we do no other but to absorb the affection and fall back into the embracing arms of Jesus Christ. We come to realise, again, that each of us is the one for whom Jesus left the ninety-nine, so he can locate and carry us back to the flock – His flock. If it were not for this restorative intervention, the life of a Christian would have been one miserable affair.
If ever there was a measure of my faith it could only be: How loved am I? If I do not experience the overwhelming sense of God’s love for me, chances are that something is hindering my experience or my senses. Whereas human beings may fail in expressing their love adequately or appropriately, God never does. Whatever is hindering me can be eliminated by seeking a quiet closeness to God. In the quiet I remain exactly that – no obligation to say or even pray the right thing – just a quiet heart that may break into worship spontaneously. In the closeness, a high-sense awareness that God is not afar, but powerfully, yet gently present in my very circumstance.
Love to all.