Breath-Taking

Here’s what we’ve seen so far in the book of Genesis: God, the Master Designer and Creator, brought the earth and all of its inhabitants into existence. He rested and sanctified the seventh day, so that we might have our own day of replenishment and focus on who He is. He planted a beautiful garden full of wonderful fruits, plants, and animals…and there, in this paradise created especially for him, Adam was given his home.

But let’s back up. We kind of brushed over that whole man-making thing…and it’s a pretty big deal. This is how Genesis 1: 26-27 describes it: “God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.’ So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

This is crazy love, y’all. God, with all the knowledge of the pain humanity would cause, still loved us enough to create us.

The closest way I can comprehend this is to think of the people I love the most in this world…any hurt they cause me could never outweigh the joy they bring into my life.  The relationships are worth the heart-ache.  But God knew exactly how much our relationship with Him would cost, and it makes my own grievances pale in comparison  — He knew the life of His own son would be sacrificed.

Because satan’s scheme to deceive Adam and Eve did not surprise God. Satan had already rebelled against God and he was out to gain dominion over anything and everything he could grasp. God knew that the serpent would talk Eve into disobedience.

He could have wired her to obey. He could’ve created us to follow Him in perfect submission, without that troublesome free-will.

But He didn’t want forced love. Who would really want their friends, spouses, and family to love them just because they had no other choice? God wanted our relationship to be just that — a relationship, not a robotic response system.

And that’s why His plan was, from the beginning, a story of grace. In 2nd Timothy, chapter 1 and verse 9, this is what Paul explains: “God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time–to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”  In 1st Peter 1:20, we hear this plan again: “God chose Him as your ransom long before the world began.” And check out Ephesians 1:4-5 — “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” 

I’m sure there are lots of theological theories and issues that could stem from these verses, but I just want to concentrate on the best part: a love that takes my breath away. Because He already knew me and He already knew you.  He could see our faces, hear our laughter, feel our need…and He set the plan in motion to rescue us from sin and death. He wanted us in His own family — and through Jesus, we are sons and daughters of God…and this brings Him ‘great pleasure’!

I feel like I’ve been swept off my feet. What a humbling, incomprehensibly amazing thing it is to be loved by the Almighty God!  He loved us enough to bring us into existence, to send His son to die for us, to hear our prayers, to be our peace and joy and strength.  He loves us enough that we can call on Him in times of trouble — we can call Him our father and boldly approach His throne. We don’t deserve any of this, but He loves us because of who we are…and I hope that you love Him because of who He is. 

Please get to know Him…study His words, talk to Him, listen for His voice…I promise you that you’ll find the greatest love of your life.

His love takes my breath away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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