No Matter What, You Are Loved by God

Yesterday morning my four year old John scooted our bench over to the kitchen countertop so he could stand on it. He wanted to spread his own peanut butter on his toast, which happened to be a first.

“I’m going to make Daddy’s for him too. He will love me for it and give me a kiss on the cheek!”

I thought how sweet that was for him to do and I figured I’d turn his little comment into a teaching opportunity.

“Well John, did you know that you don’t have to do anything to make Daddy love you more? He loves you just for you, no matter what,” I replied.

“Oh,” he said thinking about it.

He continued spreading in between the crust and topped it off with some banana slices and honey, just the way Daddy likes his peanut butter toast.

Then I could only naturally think about God’s love for us.

God loved us while we were still sinners and loves all sinners presently. He doesn’t need us to prove anything to him. And contrary to popular opinion, there is nothing we can do to earn his love.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

I admit that at times I have a hard time accepting these truths about His love. Sometimes I feel that if I’ve screwed up and failed to be the person God has called me to be, that my behavior changes God’s view of me.

Or sometimes I feel I have to “do” more: read more of my Bible, pray more, do more ministry,  go to church more, walk in the Spirit more, give more… you get the point. Those are all blessings and necessities that come with following Christ- not a checklist or legalistic duty. God uses all those means as gifts and tools to help me love him more and know him more fully. But they don’t for one second change the way He loves me.

The truth that God’s love is a gift of undeserving grace is mind boggling and so incredibly freeing. It’s like the image of grace you’ve probably sung about in David Crowder’s, “How He Loves” song:

And we are His portion and He is our prize,  Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,  If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. 

I don’t know about you but in 2013, I want to know His love more deeply because I haven’t even swam close to the deep end when it comes to understanding his unending grace, love, and redemption. There is so much more my heart has yet to be filled with. And as I get more situated in to this new year, I’m excited about the new truths God has yet to reveal.

Well John got to enjoy his toast with his Daddy and heard words of gratitude for his hard work. Even though later in the day John disobeyed, fought with his sister, and had a few fits, Daddy corrected him and disciplined him and showed him love.

And even as a young child, I think John is able to understand that he’s still loved no matter what he does.

Bible Study for Youth Groups with David Nasser and Bluefish TV is filmed in Rome

 A few weeks back, David Nasser and some of our crew returned from an unforgettable journey retracing the steps of the Apostle Paul to help teach youth groups across the country.

Our last project with David Nasser, the I AM youth group series with David Crowder and Chris Tomlin led our Director of Production, Phil Warner to ask about potential project ideas brewing in David’s mind. David said, “I’ve always wanted to teach in Rome.”

David’s response was taken seriously and our production crew and David packed their bags for a 7 day shoot in Rome, Italy. Rome would be the teaching location for the new Bluefish TV 2009 Youth Ministry Kit.

Standing on the streets of Rome, David taught about the cost of discipleship at the Tre Fontana (the three fountains) which is now a monastery and the supposed spot where Paul was beheaded. He taught about the “Roman Road” on the actual Roman Road (the Appian Way). He spoke on grace at the Scala Santa (The Church of the Holy Steps); the steps in front of Pontius Pilate’s house in Jerusalem where legend believes Jesus stood when was condemned to the cross.

David’s favorite segment was at the Roman Forum. He walked among the ruins and deteriorated remains of what at one time was the “center of the world.” David taught that no matter how powerful a nation may be it is never indestructible. “Ancient Rome can serve as a real warning for modern day America. Rome was the fashion, entertainment, military, and social capital of the world at one point (much like the U.S. today). But the one thing that brought Rome to its knees was its own arrogance,” says David.

 David’s teaching is scripturally focused. He motivates youth groups to venture deeper into God’s word and further investigate Roman culture. The 2009 Youth Ministry Kit for youth group leaders with David Nasser is Bluefish TV’s first teaching series in Europe. It is scheduled to release August 1. You can watch for release details at bluefishtv.com.

If you’d like to explore and purchase other Bluefish TV Youth Ministry Bible studies, visit the following youth studies: Teens Vs. Parents with Mark Matlock, Sex. Dating with Michael and Hayley DiMarco, and Revolution with Doug Fields.

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