“I’m going to wait to be baptized.” The woman was emphatic. “When I know I’m saved, I’ll do it. But I want to be sure.”
The room fell silent. All of the ladies present at the Wednesday night Bible study were left speechless. One tender hearted woman regained her composure, leaned forward, and put her hand on this elderly sister’s shoulder.
“What makes you think you’re not saved?” She asked with compassion.
The older woman’s former confident tone vanished. Bright lipstick quivering slightly, she stammered a reply.
“Well, I still sin….and I don’t do very many good things…”
A dozen voices erupted, all reassuring her that we too, still sin and that we are also negligent in doing the good we ought to sometimes. In agreement, we told her that this has no bearing on whether one is saved or not. I’m not sure if the words penetrated. She looked unconvinced, but thoughtful when we broke up for the night.
This morning I was reading in my new book of meditations, The Forgotten Way, by Ted Dekker. The words leaped off of the screen of my iPad and pierced me. I thought of that dear woman, so separated from her Father by false beliefs and realized that I am no different.
Romans 8:38-39, For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Do you notice what’s missing here? The one thing not included in this list is the past, and that’s because your past isn’t even relevant. Your Father loves you so deeply that He refuses to allow your past, your failures, your sins, your offenses, to dictate to Him whether He can love you. There is nothing in the present and nothing in the future that can threaten your Father’s love for you. Let the eternal reality of your Father’s love erase any foreboding anticipation of the unknown. This reality is your rest. You are loved by your Father right now, where you are, as you are.”
—Ted Dekker, The Forgotten Way
Isn’t it easy to forget the good news? The enemy would have us believe that we are supposed to do something to earn our Father’s favor. Or that we are so blemished by our past doings that our Abba is angry and can’t look upon us. Our vision becomes cloudy and we strive to be found worthy; we no longer live in the freedom of our Father’s lavish love.
Just in case you’ve forgotten today too, my friends, I want to share this amazing news. Our Father loves us. His love is unconditional, unshakable, and far greater than anything we can fathom. Mr. Dekker put it perfectly. This reality is our rest.
Grace and peace to you.