Because He Loves Us
In just a few short days we will be relocating to Arizona and doing the work to build Mainspring Church. As with any move of this nature, Brook and I have been concerned with many important decisions. We are asking the big questions; Where will the kids go to school? What type of friends will they make? Should Brook work? Where are the best places for us to meet, and interact with people in the community? How will we afford all this?!
Several nights ago, while praying with our 5-year-old son, the Lord opened my eyes to a greater perspective of His love. As I prayed, these words came out of my mouth, “Lord, thank you for sending us to Arizona. You are sending us there because you love my son.” All the light bulbs in my spirit went on. I continued, “Jesus, you love my son so much that you are sending our family to Arizona because it is part of your wonderful plan for him.” I went even further, “Jesus, you are sending our family to Arizona because you love our Grandmas and Grandpas so much, and even though they will miss us terribly, this is part of your wonderful plan for them. You love our friends at Jesus Church International (JCI) so much that you are sending us to plant this church in Cave Creek, AZ because it is part of your wonderful plan for them as well.”
In that moment, I realized that God’s plan was much more than an assignment for the mission of Jesus, it was an act of love, not only for the people He is sending us to, but the people He is sending us away from. In His great plan, He lovingly and thoughtfully considered every person that will come to encounter Jesus through Mainspring Church.
The joy that filled my heart was inexpressible! It became clear that my worry for how the people I care about might be effected by this church plant and relocation, was completely unnecessary. I began to feel the peace that comes from knowing that we are taken care of. Jesus was doing this for my family, our friends, and all we will meet in Arizona, because He loves us!
Love Makes It A “Good Friday”
Still unpacking this new-found revelation of how much Jesus loves us, I can’t help but look at Good Friday with a greater appreciation. Even though it honors one of the most brutal deaths in the history of the world, it is a good day because it is the day Jesus Christ died on a cross to bear the sin of all the people that had ever lived and ever would live. He paid the price for us, so that we could have eternal life with Him.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 | ESV
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 | ESV
God loves us so much that in His Son, Jesus, He sent Himself to the earth. He became flesh to dwell among us, to reveal Himself to us that we might truly know His heart and motivation, and to Himself become the ultimate payment for sin reconciling His creation to Himself.
This extravagant act of love has affected me deeply. He did this because He loves us!! And if He, who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, (Romans 8:32b | ESV) loves us this much, we can believe that He will only work for our good. I am also beginning to believe that the experience of God working all things for our good, because He loves us, was a big piece of what gave Jesus the strength and courage to endure the cross.
Remember, while Jesus was fully God, He was also fully human just like you and I. Jesus so loved His Father and so loved creation that, even though He was God and with God, He humbled Himself and became flesh and dwelt among us and lived as a servant in complete obedience to His Father to the point of death on a cross. He gave up His divine privileges to redeem and reclaim the creation He had spoken into being.
That night before He was crucified, alone in the garden praying to His Father in Heaven, He asked a simple question; “Is there any other way?” Jesus knew the plan. He was in the beginning with God before the foundations of the world, when He chose all of us to be holy and blameless before Him, even if that meant death on a cross. Jesus was going to feel the sadness, brokenness, and affliction of every person that had ever lived and that ever would live. All the blame for everything that had gone wrong would be placed on Jesus who had only been good all the time.
But even worse, Jesus, who had always known, loved, and been in the presence of His Father would feel the horrible hurt of what happens to those who run away from God; His wonderful, loving relationship with His Father would be broken and they would be separated.
Jesus knew the plan. It was His passion. Which is why, through the emotional and mental anguish, Jesus chose to trust His Father who loved Him and say, “Not my will, but Your will be done.” He knew that His Father had made a promise about Jesus through King David.
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For You will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.”
Psalm 16:9-10 | ESV
God loves us so much that He will never abandon us. He only has good plans for us, initiated by His love for us. Jesus had ultimate confidence that His Father would not leave Him abandoned but in fact, He would be brought back from the grave and exalted to the right hand of God to have first place in all things. Wow! What an expression of trust that comes from knowing you are loved!
EVERYTHING God does for us and the ones we care about, is simply because He loves us. When we receive Jesus as our Savior and as Lord of our lives, we are no longer separated from Him, from God. He is with us always, all the way to the end and beyond. Who could ever separate us from the love of Jesus? No one! Nothing!
“I (Jesus) give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
John 10:28-30 | ESV
He Is Working for Our Good
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Romans 8: 28, 37 | ESV
When I think of all that God is doing for me and my family, I am overwhelmed by His love. Sure, we feel the stress and the tension of moving, starting a church, and all the stuff that comes with that. Yet, even in my most stressful moments, I know that Jesus was motivated by love when He sent us.
For God so loved the world, that He sent His only Son. Consider this with me. Motivated by love, the Father sent His Son into this world. As the church, we are the Body of Christ by which He acts and speaks on the earth. The Father, still motivated by love, pursuing His creation, is sending us, His sons and daughters into the world. In us, He is sending His Son, so that people will see Him, know, Him, encounter Him, and love Him as He loves them.
My confidence in Jesus to supply all my needs, live His life through me, and give me the wisdom and insight needed for the task at hand is growing by leaps and bounds. It is hard to imagine what the chain-reaction of this act of love will bring. A God who is only good, loves a bunch of people that He wants to reach out to, equip, and make disciples through Mainspring. What a wonderful thought. I can truly see His heart in everything He has done!
So Will I (100 Billion X) – Hillsong Worship
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender so will I
I can see Your heart
Eight billion different ways
Every precious one
A child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I…
Like You would again a hundred billion times