Life At Its Best: God will never leave you nor forsake you
In today's culture, there are so many perceptions of God.
To some, He's a holy, righteous being unconcerned with earthly matters.
To others, He's the guy who set the world in motion and now sits back to watch how we perform.
While those descriptions may have hints of accuracy, both fail to describe His true nature.
Beyond being righteous or holy, God is loving. He's not interested in condemning us when we fall short. He cares for us more than any person ever could, and He deeply desires to be our heavenly father.
As a dad, I've come to appreciate even more how great of a father our God is. I remember having one of my rougher "daddy days" years ago when I was babysitting my 2-year-old son. My wife was out of town, so I decided this was the perfect opportunity to introduce him to Marble Slab ice cream.
The shop was only about a half a mile from our house, so I plopped him on my shoulders and started walking. He loved the ice cream. I felt like the best dad in the world. But that changed pretty quickly. I started walking home with Michael on my shoulders, when I suddenly felt a thick, sticky substance dripping down my hair. Sure enough, he'd spit up.
Michael instantly started screaming and crying. I struggled to get him off my shoulders, as he kept yelling, "I want Mama!"
Finally, I'd had enough. So I screamed back, "I want you to be adopted!"
Like I said, not my best parenting moment.
As we walked back, both silent and sticky, I began thinking back about the sticky messes I'd made in my own life. I realized how grateful I was that God hadn't responded the way I did. He never threatened to leave or abandon me. He didn't become frustrated or angry at my mistakes. Instead, He continued to do what I should've done for my son: He picked me up, wiped me off, and kept on carrying me toward what He had for me.
God wants to do that for each of us. He's not intimidated by our mistakes. He's not interested in condemning us. Instead, He wants to be a Father who loves and strengthens us as we move forward into His best.
In order to receive that love, we must learn to let go of condemnation.
Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Even when we are at our worst, God gives us His best. It's Jesus' sacrifice, not our behavior, that qualifies us to receive His love.
So be careful what voices you listen to when you fall short. Don't allow yourself or others to convince you that you're not good enough. Instead, open up God's word and remind yourself of what He says about you. Speak His promises over your life and future.
As we let go of condemnation and live in light of God's unfailing love, we'll experience a free and fulfilling life.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit faithfamilyvictoria.com.