Jesus’ comment about how serious it is to cause a child to stumble reveals the jealous, protective love of the Father for His lost, orphaned children—which includes all of us. Jesus went to the Cross to avenge the stolen innocence and broken trust we all inherited after the Fall. When He declared that we all had to be “born again,” He was saying, “We’re going to start this trust thing over again. I’m placing you in the Father’s arms, where you are going to experience unconditional love, acceptance, and care. He is going to meet your needs when you cry out to Him—especially your need to be loved. You’re going to learn how to trust again. And you’re going to be able to build relationships with Me and one another, relationships where your heart will be satisfied.”
God’s affirmation doesn’t condone our sin, and it doesn’t acquiesce in our mediocrity. He calls us to repentance and holiness and discipleship. But he begins with a simple, unconditional affirmation: I love you. You are my daughter. You are my son. With you I am well pleased. When we embrace that affirmation, we make a good start. We don’t start falteringly, hesitantly, guiltily, waiting for rejection, or wondering when we will get cut from the squad. We start on the right foot, embraced and embracing the God who loves us and has an eternal salvation for us.
He comes to us in the brokenness of our health, in the shipwreck of our family lives, in the loss of all possible peace of mind, even in the very thick of our sins. He saves us in our disasters, not from them. He emphatically does not promise to meet only the odd winner of the self-improvement lottery.
Redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are his forever, and where he is, there must his people be. You are loved too much to be cast away with reprobates. Shall one dear to Christ perish? Impossible! Hell cannot hold thee! Heaven claims thee! Trust in thy Surety and fear not!
The life of the believer and that of the unbeliever show great similarity in their beginning, but when their end comes, they are as diverse as the snake and the silkworm. The snake, however many times he casts his skin, remains a snake and nothing else, but the silkworm, when it casts off its unsightly cocoon, becomes a new creature and as a dainty pretty moth flies about in the air. So the believer, casting aside this body, enters into a state of spiritual glory and flies about forever in heaven, while the sinner after death is but a sinner still.
I know that His love is better than life! Is this true for you? Jesus changed my life in a single moment, an encounter, His love came rushing in. He took my brokenness and made something beautiful. He can do the same for you, all you have to do is ask Him.
When you lose the story that’s running like a golden stream underneath all the other stories, you’re left with the idea that the Bible is a collection of random-seeming stories about various Bible characters that we’re supposed to learn lessons from – almost like an Aesop’s Fables. And a book of rules that God wants us to keep so he will love us. And we lose the glorious truth of the Bible that we were loved before even the beginning of time. That God had a plan. That no matter what, he would never stop loving us.