I've been reading this book for the past 2 days, and it has really ministered deeply to my soul. Ken writes about being loved completely and fully by God, and being adopted sons and daughters of God. If you think about adoption, parents often wait a long time in order to adopt a child, and when the child is finally theirs, they love them! With all the love in the world. I know there's exceptions, but for the most part, adoption is a joyous process and a life-changing event for both parent and child. It's very rare (and unheard of... really, in my memory) that a couple would bring a child into their lives and then send the child back when something goes wrong. The child is theirs, given to them by God (even though not by birth), and they take joy in raising the child.
Well, God adopted us! And no matter how much we mess up, our place in His arms is always secure. Ken puts it so beautifully:
"Jesus is not repelled by us, no matter how messy we are, regardless of how incomplete we are. When we recognize that Jesus is not discouraged by our humanity, is not turned off by our messiness, and simply doggedly pursues us in the face of it all, what else can we do but give in to His outrageous, indiscriminate love?"
It reminded me of the pssage Silu and I went through for discipleship in Ephesians 2:1-10, about being made alive in Christ. Here's the verses that really convicted me:
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."
I know recently, I've been struggling with a lot of things in my life that were not glorifying to God. I think my natural response to God, when I mess up, is to hide. But God has really convicted me these past two days that by hiding, I'm inadvertently saying to Him, "Your death was not enough to cover me and I have to do more to make myself more 'worthy' of you." Do you guys get what I'm saying here? By refusing to allow God's grace into our lives, we basically say to Jesus that His death was not enough to save us, that His blood was not enough to wash us clean.
It really is humbling. Thank You, God, that our place in Your arms is always there, and that nothing we ever do will pry us away from that. You did promise that "neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:39
Ken also writes a lot about receiving kisses from God. The first kiss we've all ever gotten was during the time of our creation when God kissed the breath of life into us. We don't remember that kiss at all, but it happened. Our second kiss from God, which we usually remember, was when God touched our hearts and gave us the Holy Spirit, the moment that we accepted God into our hearts. :) Think back on your childhood. Do you remember your parents hugging and kissing you? I know when I go home, even now, I still love it when my parents kiss me on the cheek or give me a hug. How much more amazing is it that God kisses us, every day! Without Him, we wouldn't have another day in this world. It's really humbling. He also writes about how as God's people, we are called to "kiss" others:
"The more uninhibited we become in our worship of God, the more eagerlywe want to partner with Jesus in his mission of mercy and love to rescue spiritual orphans, wherever they are, so they too might know their Maker and revel in his kisses, joining the delirious throngs that are worshiping the Lord in spirit and in truth."
Read this book. :) It'll touch your heart in many ways!