Do You Believe God Loves You?
Sometimes, the most random moments of life are the most profound. As Jeff and Alyssa Bethke rolled on the floor in celebration with their baby daughter, who had just learned to roll over, Jeff wondered, “Is this really God’s heart for his children?”
It’s hard to imagine a powerful, mighty, almost mechanical God-in-the-sky rejoicing over his people like this. But in a recent Youtube video, Jeff Bethke calls us to expand our view of God.
A Limited View of God
Is God personal, celebratory, and whacky, or punishing, exacting, and judgmental? In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, Christian author A.W. Tozer declares, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
Take a second to consider what you first think of when you think of God. In your own mind, is he distant, intimate, alienated, mighty, weak, or kind? To an adventurer, God is chaotic; to a methodical person, God is orderly; to a critical person, God is judgmental. Whatever characteristic is foremost in your mind is likely a key attribute of yourself.
Our conception of God can too easily become wrapped up in our own identity. As Christians, our challenge is to pop the bubble of our limited view of God. If we are three-dimensional, God is of infinite dimensions. Pursue a greater knowledge of Him by asking Him to reveal more of His attributes–one-by-one.
God’s Infinite Attributes
If you spend the rest of your life trying to get to know the ins-and-outs of me, you’d be bored in 2 days. But the amazing things is that you can spend all your life trying to know God, and continue to discover new attributes of His character each day.
So who is God–really?
According to Jeff, the often-overlooked attribute of God that we should focus on today is God’s delight in us. God “rejoices in us, dances, leaps, and skips over us” exuding playfulness–even before we have done anything to “earn” it. Even in the middle of our sin.
God’s Amazing Love
That’s right–God doesn’t just love us because he has to. God chooses to delight in us. Zephaniah 3:17 paints this mind-boggling picture of God:
“The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Rejoice over me? With all that I have done? Yes, in fact, according to Jeff Bethke, God rejoices over us even in moments of struggle. Just as he and his wife rejoiced over their daughter as she struggled to roll over.
God’s love is there before, during, and after sin. Jeff remarks, “You don’t have to run and hide for two weeks to clean up [after sinning]. Because of Jesus there’s grace for you.” And smack in the middle of sin is when we need that grace the most.
You Can’t Earn God’s Delight
Jeff says that love is a “fuzzy word” because it is often misused in our sinful world. “Earned” love is not really love. But a relationship with God is greater than even the healthiest relationships here on Earth. When it comes to God’s unconditional love, it’s there right when you wake up in the morning–before you even set foot out the door to accomplish things.
God’s love was even there for Jesus as he was baptised–before he started his ministry and before he died on the cross. During Jesus’s baptism, God parted the sky to declare, “This is my son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
The best part? Through Jesus’s sacrifice, we can have this same intimate, delightful relationship with our Father God–we don’t even have to do anything to earn it.