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lensnatureWhere I live, it’s officially springtime and I’m so excited! I mean, the days are getting longer, the sun feels brighter, birds are chirping, and any day now it’s going to get warm enough for me to enjoy being out on the lake again. When I look at all that spring entails, I’m overjoyed. I just love spring! But, I also know folks who look at spring through other “lenses.” To them, it is just a time of ushering in pollens, allergies, itchy eyes, and spending every weekend having to mow the lawn and pluck weeds. Wow, can’t you see that the lenses you’re looking through totally determine what you’re seeing! That’s true of anticipating a new season but, really, this is a basic idea that applies to any area of your life.

Today, I want us to dive into the basic but profound truth that the lens you look through when viewing the relationship between God and you. Specifically when looking at His love for you, means everything. I know this is true because I wore the wrong lens for decades! You see, God’s Word tells us that “we love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Even though I knew that verse and had heard it many times, I hadn’t yet flipped on the switch inside to believe itspecifically to believe it was true for me, personally. If that verse is true (which it is), that means that everything we look at in our lives and in our view of how God looks at us should all be through the lens of His unconditional love.

Why, then, do we so easily slip back into a “works” mindset? As if it’s an earned gift rather than a free gift? When we wear our “works” lens, it makes God’s love something we can earn, as if being “good enough” by completing our to-do lists, serving in church and praying so many minutes per day could make God love us more. I’ve inadvertently worn that lens at various times in my own life, thinking that somehow being a “good Christian” and completing my checklist of prayer, Bible reading and Gospel-spreading tasks, would make me worthy of God’s love.

Who’s with me here? I mean, this world is so checklist drivenand “earn it” mindedthat there’s such a pull for us to view our relationship with God that way. But listen. This is what I want you to hear todayGod loved you FIRST. You didn’t earn it. You can’t earn it. You don’t need to earn it. He loved you FIRST.

Hearing that may not come with all the feels or goosebumps, but it’s Bible truth, so choose to put that lens on! Think about what that would be like. When you wear the lens of the truth that God already loves you unconditionally, how would that impact how you view yourself? How you view His thoughts toward you or His plan for your life? Through this lens adjustment, suddenly you will see His love for you everywhere! You’ll see how He protects you, how He guides you, how He helps you through every storm. You’ll find a place of rest in the depths of you because you’re not striving to earn His love. Certainly, when you are the recipient of great love you will want to respond, but you’re not trying to earn it. It’s already there. Can you start to feel the incredible rest that this basic truth brings?

In 1 John 4:16, we read: “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us…” You know about God’s love. You’ve read the Scriptures, and you're learning more about His great love for you. But to truly switch the lens you view everything through, you must take the second step. Believing. Make a choice today to flip the switch of faith to ON. Believe in His love for you personally and start to view your whole world through the basic truth of His love for YOU!

Say this: “Father, thank You for Your great love for me. You loved me first! I didn’t earn it, there’s no checklist I need to accomplish to be ‘good enough’ for your love -- You love me unconditionally, and in the rest and fullness of that love I respond by loving You back! Today I make the choice to flip the switch to ON -- I believe in Your love for me personally and choose to wear that lens to view my world from this moment on. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Copyright © Beth Jones
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Beth Jones
Web site: Valley Family Church
As a young couple, fresh out of Bible School with Two daughters and a third child on the way, Jeff and Beth Jones felt God's call to pioneer Valley Family Church in 1991 with a vision to make an eternal difference in Southwest Michigan. As a husband and wife team, they have always led together as visionary pastors and have shared the pulpit as Bible teachers. They are passionate about building the local church in greater Kalamazoo and the global church around the world.

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