I’ve written before in “Daddy, Are You Spanking Me?” how, after giving a spanking to either of my boys, I would immediately wrap my arms around him and reassure him of my love. I didn’t want there to be any lapse of time between the discipline and the reassurance of love. I wanted them to understand that the discipline was necessary for them to learn to do right, but I also wanted them to know that my love for them was steadfast.
This past week, as I’ve been reading The Grace of God by Andy Stanley, and Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray, I’ve been reminded that God has this same attitude toward those who have accepted Christ as their Savior. Romans 8:38-39 tells us that there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. When we are disobedient to God, He is patient with us. He bestows His grace upon us to the extent that we often suffer no consequence for our disobedience. When we reach the point where we need to be disciplined, He will discipline us. But there is never a period of time that He does not love us and accept us just as we are. We never have to do anything to earn His love. His love for us does not fail. It never changes. We can come to Him with all of our cares, our needs, and our desires. He will listen to us, love us, and pour His blessing out on us.
Our sense of guilt often causes us to feel like we have to earn our way back into fellowship with God after we’ve been disobedient. This is a weapon that Satan uses against us in his attempt to defeat us. If we feel like we haven’t earned our way back, we become ineffective in our ministry for God, and many just give up on God altogether. Remember that if we have Christ in us, God sees us as righteous … always. We have continual access to God, no matter what we do or what our circumstances. He loves us … always.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 ESV