A Reluctant Lover

In my personal devotions I read this quote adapted from Erwin McManus’ book “Soul Cravings

“Religion exists not because God loves too little but because we need love so much.  We’ve been told that God is a reluctant lover and that his standards must be met before there can be any talk of love.  This is lunacy. Love exists because God is love.  Our souls will never find satisfaction until our hearts have found this love that we so desperately yearn for.”

In dealing with adherents of the Prosperity Gospel or those that believe that God’s blessings are contingent, it’s often pointed out how much suffering has been endured by those who were indeed walking a straight path with God.  Paul is perhaps our greatest example of an obedient servant who suffered greatly because he obeyed all that God had for him.

But this passage helped me reflect on how often God’s blessings are also available to those who don’t deserve them.  Starting with the gift of grace and passed on down through innumerable experiences, people are being given gifts by God simply because he loves them.  Love after all, keeps no record of right and wrong.

God’s blessings are not available to us because of what we’ve done.  They are there because of who we are, people loved by God.

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8 thoughts on “A Reluctant Lover

  1. “We love because He first loved us.”

    That’s in the Bible (somewhere).

    “God’s blessings are not available to us because of what we’ve done. They are there because of who we are, people loved by God.”

    Well said! Amen!

  2. ” God’s blessings are not available to us because of what we’ve done. They are their because of who we are, people loved by God.”

    Amen, Tim!

    Well said.

    God helps those who can not help themselves……

    He also blesses the undeserving….
    I am completely totally undeserving of His grace & forgiveness……..

    But because HE loved me, He gave His son so I can receive the gift of Eternal life.

    Wow, that knocks my socks off!

    That is the GOOD news, or shall I say GREAT news —

    gloria

  3. I do believe there are blessings that we receive because of our obedience to God, even though we don’t always notice them and/or may not receive them in this life. And, yes, there are plenty of blessings that we receive simply because we are God’s children.

    Unfortunately, there are those (in both Mormonism and in evangelical Christianity, especially among the prosperity-gospel types) who take the concept too far. They seem to want to turn God into some sort of a cash register — hey, if I pay my tithing, my bills will be paid, and if I double-tithe, I’ll be rich! That sort of thinking really rubs me the wrong way (partly because it seems those who preach it have the biggest followings on TV). Sometimes, I think, we’re meant to suffer (but I wouldn’t go to the extreme and say, as I have heard some day, that persecution is a sign we must be doing something right).

    I’m prompted to post this in part because of a discussion on another thread:

    Shematwater said in part:

    In my mind, as I have read the scriptures, if you do not enter into a covenant with God you will not receive the blessings. If you have received the blessings than you have entered into a covenant.

    To which Katie L. responded in part:

    Where does grace fit into your worldview?

    It’s a good question. But I think the same question needs to be asked of the other side. So in response to the original post, I would ask this of Tim, and perhaps of Theoldadam and Gloria as well: Are you saying that there are no blessings that come about because of the choices we make? If your answer is no, then what do you think is the connection between our behavior and the blessings we get? I’d appreciate a clarification of your thoughts, as it may help may clarify my own. Thanks.

  4. I think we do get blessings. But they are not what the world would normally think of as blessings.

    St. Paul was run from town to town, beaten, stoned, jailed…and he called these blessings from God.

    Look at the lives of the apostles. They had a rough go of it and all but one died horrible deaths. Surely they were worthy of “blessings”.

    Then, look around. Many in life who are not even believers do quite well and receive (as the result of their hard work or inheritances) lots of ease and comforts. That goes for many in the church as well.

    So, I guess it’s a mixed bag.

    I do know that when we live within the law, both civil and God’s law, we avoid a lot of the discomfort and results of a sinful life. In that way, I guess we would be blessed.

    Just my opinion.

  5. I have tried Catholicism and Mormonism. The truth is I am just looking for truth, not faith. Love and virtues are all that interest me. I believe religions and the Bible are just stories, manifestations of fear, hope, and man’s need to be led and manipulated….to belong. Not to mention church leaders’ drive to exploit the flocks. Membership is reassuring and it tempers the fear of death.

    The truth is I am an Atheist. All of my efforts to seek enlightenment were hypocritical.

  6. I wrote a poem about “A State of Grace”, but in the end it is more a question of ultimate peace and peace of mine……….not a state of being with God.

  7. That’s peace of mind by the way. As you can see, I am depressed and disenchanted.

  8. I conclude that the Catholic religion’s platform is based on conditional love from a god, while the LDS’s platform is based on a forgiving and unconditional loving god with rules and ongoing opportunity for redemption. I did not capitalize god because I cannot say that I believe.

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