Go Jenny, Go!

Go Jenny, Go!
Recently, I saw a commercial God used to give me a new revelation of His love for me. It was about a woman who was in a bicycling race, and her husband was waiting for her at different points in the race with water, signs with encouraging words like “Go, Jenny, Go!”, and finally, one that said simply “I love you”. God told me that this is the message of His love, written in His Word, for us…and for me. That husband gave his wife the love-energy she needed to complete the race.
He reminded me of the fact that He and only He, is truly capable of love, because He IS love. He is always reaching out to us, speaking to us, longing to bless us. Everything we are and do is totally from God’s grace. Not only does He seek us out, pursue, and woo us, but He gives us full reward for responding to Him!
Grace = Unmerited Favor. God gives us the love to love Him. {We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19} Then when we trust in His love and grace, He gives us the full reward, not simply A reward, but FULL reward for loving Him!
Anything BUT full reliance on God is idolatry. This is spelled out numerous times over in the stories of the Old Testament. It was the reason God sent Israel went into captivity twice, and only a remnant returned. The following scripture was written to rebuke God’s people when they ran to Egyptian forces for protection against Assyria:
                                  “ ‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ declares the Lord, ‘who execute a plan,
                                       but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit…who proceed
                                       to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh
                                       and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!’”
                                                                                                           Isaiah 30: 1,2 {NASB}
Reliance on self, abilities, possessions, addictions, relationships with others, or anything else in the world is idolatry. I see much of this around me, even within the church. People often rely on their standing with others, holding onto their fears and insecurities as if constantly ruminating over them will solve everything. They rely on their clichés of friends to get them through {much as high school kids do} because they think it will protect them from the unknown. Therefore, anyone different from them does not functionally exist, and they are ignored as part of the furniture, so to speak.  The Lord’s answer is clear: Depend on NO ONE save Him alone! It is only through His grace, accessed by relinquishing our pride and admitting the truth of His sovereignty that we are saved and can live powerful and fulfilling lives.

                  “For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance
                                      rest you shall be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.’”

                                                                                                                                    Isaiah 30:15
Jesus longs to redeem our lives for His greater purpose, one that spreads His love to the people the world calls unlovable, disenfranchised, rejected, and alone. What we must realize is that we are all that way without Christ and His redeeming love! Talk to those “unlovely” people; find out who they are and what their stories are…receive what they have to offer…you might just find that they are not all that different from you are, and that they have something valuable to give.
When we open ourselves and receive His love and use His power to love others, He gives us the reward we do not deserve. He heals our lives from the deadly infection of our sins of idolatry and rebellion. Then we reflect His glory to the world, shining as stars in a crooked and perverse generation, just as Philippians 2 says. We will be the fertile fields that produce much fruit…and be ever so much more than we ever could come up with on our own.
~ Denise


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