On Mondays, I have been blogging excerpts from one of the books I’m writing, called “Found Wanting”, exploring a God who loves us and relentlessly pursues a deep and engaging relationship with us. We have looked at the first portion of the book which discusses a position of inward bankruptcy in our souls as a result of sin and it’s consequences. Why do bad things happen in the world? Not because God doesn’t care and doesn’t want to do anything, for sure… But because sin separated us from a position of trusting in, and having intimate connection with God. Because we were sinners, separated from God by our own move away from him, refusing to trust his good intentions toward us, we decided we needed to look out for ourselves, instead of allowing him to protect, defend and care for us. With this newfound independence from God in place in our lives, ample room for self centeredness brought about lawlessness. Every one did as they saw fit. This allowing sin to enter the world. Instead of allowing God to be judge, and decide fairly on the outcome of situations in our lives, we took matters into our own hands. You see it today. From the simplest example of trusting ourselves and questioning the character and goodness of God… Simply because we ask the question, “Why does a ‘good’ God allow suffering in the world?” the very question itself questions the character of God, proving our suspicion of his goodness or concern or involvement in human affairs. Now I could answer that God delights in freedom for us, which is why He gave us free will, and that out of that free will he longs for us to connect to him, because he knows love cannot exist where there is no choice… And maybe you buy it and maybe you don’t. But the example still stands that there is something blocking our ability to believe in God. Free will presents another side to it as well, sadly. Just as we can freely choose to love God and each other, we can also choose to not love. Or to love selfishly… Loving what suits us best. Why is it that we desperately want to take justice in our own hands? An eye for an eye, that sort of thing. When someone has been wronged, and the authorities do not satisfy the hunger for justice, sometimes people take matters into their own hands. Why do people murder each other? Because they have taken matters into their own hands, not because God does not love us. Bad things happen to good people, because free will exists. On the one hand, it is a brilliant plan when it is used for good and not for evil, but free will backfires when we are serving our own interests above all else.

In the second half of the book, I discuss the incredible state of being ‘found wanting’ as in desiring after God as a result of recognizing His great love for us, and once we have felt it, experienced it, embraced the love of God, we are now enabled to love as He does -putting the needs of other’s above our own, or at least not exalting ourselves above another, as a good place to start! When we have truly been loved by God, received his live, tasted and seen that He really IS a good God, we experience the desire to give back. Not out of compulsion, but out of joy!! So how do we give back what we have freely received from God? The forgiveness of sins, and the invitation back to intimate fellowship with him… Then what?

“We were designed to respond to God’s love. We were designed to love. It is our first nature. But what does this nature look like? What does it involve? What does it entail? It is the nature of love to be ever expanding, not to horde love to itself, but to feel the warmth of the embrace of real and genuine love and to desire to give it away, knowing ‘there is more where that came from!’ When you hear of some really incredible sale at your favorite store, do you want to keep it to yourself or tell all your friends so they can find a great deal to? If you were on your death bed and suddenly were completely made whole and are perfectly well, would you not be so excited and bursting at the seams to tell everyone you know about your sudden, miraculous healing? Or would you keep it to yourself? When you are having the best day in the world, and feel like celebrating, do you not want to call as many of your friends as possible to go out and paint the town red and do something exciting to celebrate the moment, or a big victory? Love is like this too! When we are in love, we want to tell everyone of our newfound love. Why? Because love was created to express it, and to bring joy to those around you. That is the purpose of love- to expand, to spread the news! To share something wonderful!

Those who have come to know and understand and receive the love of God participate in the mission of God, by spreading the greatest news imaginable – that God is love! That God DOES indeed love us! We are not alone here, left to fend for ourselves, lurking in the dark, grasping the wind, struggling to find a purpose in life or for the meaning of why we are here. Those who have understood his love, KNOW. They know that the mission of God is to spread his love to everyone, because his heart grieves for all of us who have wavered in our confidence in his goodness, those of us who were disillusioned, or gave up hope in God because of some travesty we experienced in life that we thought was God’s fault, when in reality, was the result of free will and sin nature expressing itself in independence and rebellion against God, all because we believed the biggest lie of all: “God’s heart for us is not good!” So sad this reality of our condition, such incredible news when we believe again… God’s heart for you is good! God loves you. God is love! Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend. He has called us his friends and invites us to be friends of God, believing on his kindness, his goodness, his plans for us to give us hope and a future, and vision, and purpose in life. Do you want to join this incredible adventure? If you know and have experienced the love of God for you, do you want to participate in the mission of God? To remind people of his great love for them, to tell them of his goodness, and that he wants to be their friend too? He wants them to ecstatically experience the incredible love of God! If you have not experienced the love of God in your own life, you can! It is the easiest and hardest thing you will ever do! Believe. Believe in his goodness. Receive his love. Confess your independence from him and ask for him to help you depend on him and trust in him. He will empower you to do this. He loves you so much!

The mission of God has always been the same: to pursue mankind relentlessly and passionately with his love to draw us into a fulfilling and meaningful relationship with him, and to love each other as we love ourselves, preferring each other above our own interests, and enjoying the community of oneness that is experienced among the triune God. We are invited to be part of this family, to be sons and daughters to a good king, the King over all the world!”

I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my book! There is so much to be excited about when we truly understand and come to believe and trust in the goodness of His heart toward us!

Have a great day!

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