Have you ever had the feeling of being wanted? Maybe the feeling gave you a sense of security in someone’s arms. The significant other caused you to feel more relaxed and yet also on edge because you were so stunned at how much they gave you this sense of security. You had never felt this loved before so it threw you off a bit. What this person did for you because of their desires to be with you were so extraordinary that you really felt like you had nothing to offer back to them.
So far I’ve showed you in the scriptures how broken you are. The light was shown on your weaknesses, your deep insecurities. You had no more hiding because God through his word written thousands of years ago pointed you out exactly. There was no tree to hide behind or bed sheet to climb under, God seen your faults and named them one by one(Romans 3).
The other important truth God spoke about you though is that he wants you. He chose you before the foundation of the world, not because of anything good in you but strictly out of his love for you. God chose to adopt you. He said he wanted you. That is amazing. The same God who created the Grand Canyon and Mount Everest wants you. The divorcee, the single mom with three kids struggling to get by, the young man who is ashamed of his feelings for other men. The young women who feels like she has to chase after lovers by exposing every bit of herself to any man who would give her their eye for just a brief second. The father who just lost his job and is so scared to tell his wife and kids that he cannot provide that he is contemplating ending his life to avoid the embarrassment and shame he is about to go through. The child who lays awake at night wondering will his parents ever sleep in the same room again. The God of the universe wants this person. The question is though; how badly does God want you? He does not need you that is for certain. It would not make any sense how the God who created a phenomenon like the Bermuda Triangle would need someone who cannot get through five minutes of the morning without having to check their social media following.
How badly does God want you?
There was a year of my life where I was in a relationship. Not like a shallow, do not really know the person relationship but an intimate, goal setting relationship. We were talking about marriage in our first conversation making sure we were both on the same page that we did not want to waste time with pointless dates. The relationship was amazing, we loved each other. The feeling of being wanted mattered to both of us so we made sure both of us felt wanted. We gave each other this deep comfort of knowing that the other person was there for the long haul. We did stuff for each other constantly, from buying flowers almost on a weekly basis to writing encouraging letters. We learned that even though you say you love someone we both knew that you had to show it. You had to go above and beyond. You had to be willing to give whatever it took show them you loved them because frankly we are forgetful people. We forget we’re loved. We do not always feel it and sometimes love goes away. It changes shape. In our crazy society in the United States we have a false picture of love. It’s either the fairytale Disney movies or its the father and mother who only sleep in the same bed together but never have a genuine conversation about how the others doing. Love is either faked or it’s not even there. It’s either a fairytale or a “friends” with benefits scenario.
God does something for us though to show us we are loved by him that no person can do. In that relationship I could only do so much. I only had so much money for dates and flowers. I had only so much time after work to spend talking to her. I am finite and so was she. We could not give the other what we truly needed. We did not always feel secure in the others arms because frankly, we were both broken. Even though a real love was there, it was a struggle to show it at times.
God’s love for you is not broken though. It’s this strong mighty force that is willing to capture you in it’s net and draw you in to the Father’s arms(Luke 15:11-32). God’s love is unique, it’s special. You will never taste something as sweet as God’s love for you because no one can love you like God loves you. No one is willing to give everything for you like God is and that’s what makes Christianity so weird. No other god on this planet meets you in your storm. In every other religion and philosophy you have to have a certain amount of knowledge and works built up to prove to the god or system that you are worth something. God, according to the Bible though pushes your works aside because you could never please him. We are so broken we could not please ourselves. God though understands us. He comes after us and he does something that is life changing for us. He bore our brokenness and became broke himself.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21
Christ loved us deeply. He knew our transgressions not just because he loved us but because he loved us so much that he stood in our place before the Judge and paid for our faults, our sins, our crimes and cosmic treasons against a righteous God.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Just imagine for a moment, you had a family member you were close to. They did this horrendous deed and it caused them to get into a ton of trouble with the law. They had committed a terrible crime and the lawyer tells you that you will never see your loved one again. Visits are out the question, what they did was cause for the death penalty. Yet imagine then at this very moment, you are in the court room sobbing your eyes out. “Why did they do this? Why did they make this stupid, stupid decision that cost them their life?” And at the very moment you look at your loved one for the very last time, the judge makes the announcement to free that person. “Take off the chains, let the family come hug this person.”
You are confused, happy and curious. You hug your loved one but turn to the judge. “Why are you letting him go free? He did such a terrible deed, he does not deserve this? How can this be?” The judge looks at you and with still small voice says: “A man came in earlier this morning and took your loved one’s spot. He wanted the family to be together. He loved this person so much that he died in his place, under the same name as the guilty party. He said he was doing it so that the guilty party could have a new life, a fresh start.” A love like that is crazy.
Christ loves us better than that, he did not just die for one person but for many. He died for the young man struggling with same sex attraction, he died for the father who is contemplating suicide. He died for the child feeling abandoned. Christ left the throne room of heaven to take on every pain, struggle, sin, and temptation in order that we will be free. He did not even do this out of obligation. In John 10:18 Christ says: “No one takes My life from Me. I lay it down.”
Jefferson Bethke puts it like this:
God makes right the ones who aren’t right. He makes holy the filthy. He purifies the impure. He calls the wicked blameless. He “justifies the ungodly.” It’s interesting that when we feel ungodly, we hide, but God doesn’t hide in that verse. He boasts that he makes right those who deserve the opposite.
So do you remember the question I asked early on. “Have you ever had the feeling of being wanted?”
God wants you. Not like I want to see my paycheck at the end of the week. Not like how you want to see your son score a touch down Friday night. God wants you so much he seen the cost. He counted it. He took into account every issue that comes with you. All the baggage your working through with your therapist, God knows about all of that and yet dies for you, in your place so that he can know you deeper. So that you can know him in a truer sense. God secured you in his arms. There is no more worrying about tomorrow. No one can love you like God loves you and that means you do not have to feel like you are unloved anymore. You do not have to chase security. God bought you at a price. He laid his life down for you so you can rest now. You can breath. You are saved and no one can take that from you. God will never give up on you.
The Bible paints this beautiful picture of our relationship with Christ through the book of Hosea. In Hosea you have this righteous prophet named Hosea. In this story God instructs Hosea to marry a wife of whoredom(Hosea 1:2), her name is Gomer. Hosea marries Gomer and yet she still lives in this same lifestyle of an adulterer, in fact, the second child mentioned that Hosea is suppose to name is not even his child. It’s hers that she had with another man(Hosea 1:6-7). She is not faithful to her husband but that does not change Hosea’s love for her. Hosea rescues her anytime she is in trouble. He has kids with her, he wants whats best for her and at the end of the story you see Hosea’s wife get into trouble again. She is about to be sold to another man by another man. Yet Hosea shows up at this auction and pays the price for his bride(Hosea 3). He then takes her home and cleans her up. He forgives her for everything she’s done and what this picture shows us is our relationship with Christ. Christ is the groom who has an unfaithful bride. Yet Christ knows this already and he takes his brides hand and walks with her. He takes on her pain, her sin and the punishment for her sin. The troubles she experienced because of others and the troubles she experiences because of her deeds, Christ bears all of those so that his bride can be made clean. So that she can have a new life. He secures her in his arms. She never has to worry again about not meeting his standards because she knows that no matter what, the groom loves her. When the bride falls down in the muck and mire, the groom will be them to wash her feet. When the bride’s clothes get dirty, the groom will give her his cloak.
The picture this paints for us is that yes, we are Gomer in the story. We are broken people who continually chase after other god’s to worship. We even sell out to these other gods in order to find fulfillment and security yet God knows all of that. He knows us for who we truly are and gives us his life. He dies in our place so that like Gomer, we can have a new life in the safety, the security and the love of the grooms arms. The groom died for his bride and no one else. He gives everything to be with her. To clean her up, to give her a new home, a new life, new lenses to see the world through, a new rock to stand on, a new family to be apart of, a new father who will never leave us or forsake us, and new husband who will stay by our side from creation to consummation. We are secure.
The Five I Am Statements of the Gospel
This is the third post of a series of posts coming up. In all there will be five posts all connected to one another breaking down the Gospel to it’s deepest levels. Hope you enjoy and that you stick along for the journey.
By: Austin Neil Gregory