Letting the Spirit Speak

Teaching about being God’s beloved is a challenge.

It’s always been easier for me to talk about God’s unconditional love and acceptance than it has for me to experience it myself.  Not that I haven’t… I just still have a very long way to go.  And when I do, it’s usually small things that I forget about… not big experiences that I’ll be able to talk about.  It’s pretty rare that I experience God in anything other than small, seemingly insignificant ways.

So, when I decided that for these few weeks, I wanted to talk to my youth group about being God’s Beloved, I was a little concerned.  I can talk at them about it all I want; but what was there in my life to be able to point to, something where I could say, “this is how I’ve felt God’s acceptance”?

Thankfully, God’s memory is better than mine.

We were running late by the time I got to talk, and was trying to figure out how to abbreviate my thought-out and quasi-rehearsed lesson.  I had a few good conversation questions, a testimony from my life about when God started showing me what really mattered to Him, and some truths about God’s love that I wanted to convey.  Halfway through, though, the Spirit brought to light a different testimony exemplifying how well my parents were able to love and accept me… even though I’d utterly failed at my job, was traveling home in defeat, all after having given up a hefty college scholarship and throwing away my plans for the future (having developed them over several years), all because “it didn’t feel right.”

If my parents can gladly welcome my home without accusing or guilt-tripping me about it… how much MORE is God happy to just be with us, and to love us, and to know that we’re His… regardless of how screwed up we are!

It also was the best teaching I’ve done so far, almost entirely despite my efforts.   The blessing of having the Spirit take over when I didn’t know quite what to say… just one more example of experiencing God’s love and care.

I leave you with these words… read them as if God is saying them to you, whispering them into your ear.  It might not be a quote from Him, but it’s darn well close, I’m sure.

“I have called you by name, from the very beginning. You are mine and I am yours.  You are my beloved, on you my favor rests.  I have molded you from the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother’s womb.  I have carved you in the palms of my hands and hidden you in the shadow of my embrace.  Has it crossed your mind that I am proud you have accepted the gift of faith I have offered you?  Proud that you have freely chosen me, after I had chosen you, as your friend and Lord?  Proud that with all your warts and wrinkles you haven’t given up?  I never expected that you would be perfect.  

I love you.  I love you.  I love you.  Nothing will ever change that.”

– Taken from James Bryan Smith’s Embracing the Love of God.

~ by Peter on December 4, 2007.

One Response to “Letting the Spirit Speak”

  1. 🙂 God is most amazing…beautiful example of Him forcing you to accept his acceptance, while sharing it with others.
    blessings, friend!

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