Monthly Archives: March 2016

Love you most

This is Love

Thanks to the movie Tangled, on any given night a bedtime hug with my sweet eight-year-old girl may end like this:

“I love you.”
“I love you more!”
“I love you most!!!”

We fight to be the one who is the “most” lover. In a mad rush to declare her undying love, my daughter will usually speak loudly over top of me with magic phrases designed to lock in her superior loving skills. Something like “I love you 100,000 times plus infinity plus beyond plus for ever and ever!” And she will continue to shout such phrases until I give up, laughing.

I usually let her win that war of words. However, I always remind her that mothers love their children more than they could ever possibly understand. Her affection for me seems to wane and wax with the food I feed her, how early I wake her up, if I take her shopping for a toy or how much TV she can watch. On the other hand, as a parent I willingly, knowingly gave up an entire way of life for her. Her very existence limits the money I can spend on myself, where and if I can travel, how much time I have to make friends, even the kind of house I have and how I furnish it. I chose this sacrifice and I would gladly make it again, but it’s the kind of sacrifice she couldn’t possibly comprehend that demonstrates my love.

Having children is an excellent glimpse into the mother heart of God. Rachel Held Evans wonderfully phrases it like this “…if three weeks of motherhood offer but a glint of the Ultimate Love coursing through the universe, then my heart could never bear it full force.”

God loves me in ways I couldn’t possibly comprehend; His sacrifice of love is infinitely greater than my own. His patience, His kindness, His generosity and His forgiveness are deeper and richer than I can imagine. When I yell at my children because I am tired or hungry, I think of my Father who is slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness (Psalm 145:8). When I am unmoved and impatient with my children because they’ve hurt themselves doing something I’ve asked them a thousand times not to do, I think of my Father who is gracious and compassionate (Ps 103:8). When I have my daughter in my arms, snuggling under a blanket watching the rain come down outside, bursting with love for this precious life I hold, I think of my Father, whose love for me is so proportionally higher and deeper and wider than mine (Ephesians 3:17) that I am greatly humbled. In the end, it is God alone who is able to truly say “I love you most.”

I AM: the Door

Jesus is the Door

As soon as I saw this image of a door, this verse came to my mind and I haven’t been able to shake it free from my thoughts. It was interesting to me that John 10:9 was laid on my heart, and not the more frequently used Revelations 3:20 (look it up if you don’t know what I’m talking about <g>).

Perhaps it’s all the Brian McLaren and Vincent Donovan I’ve been reading. I think both have immensely important things to say to us about how followers of Jesus should be working in the world. But both are wrong when they say things like:

“Do we believe in a God who loves Christians more than pagans, or who plans to save only those who know of, and believe in, Christ?…Salvation is possible in Hinduism, Buddhism, animist paganism, Judaism.” (Donovan, Christianity Rediscovered, pg 142).

Or McLaren when he derides this idea about Jesus:

“His mercy extends to those who have correct saving faith and orthodox articulations of belief…He will damn to hell those who believe they can be saved through their own efforts or through any religion other than the new one He is about to form.” (McLaren, Everything Must Change, pg 103)

I’m not saying that we don’t re-think the context of the truths of the gospel for our time and place. But I am saying Jesus was pretty clear when He declared, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6). Or “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Or how about: “I am the door.”

Jesus ALONE is the door, the gate that His sheep must go through in order to be safe within His pastures. There is no other door. You can try to climb over the wall, but then you’re just a “thief and a robber” (vs. 8). Enter through the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13) and be saved. And, yes, few are those who find it.