Friday, April 19, 2013

No Tipping That Scale

Our dog Gus sticks close to us - sometimes for the food,sometimes for the affection, and sometimes for the walks or rides we give him. His desire to please us makes Gus a great dog, easily trained and responsive. However, Gus isn't perfect. He commits canine sins such as overturning and pilfering the kitchen garbage, dominating the cat, and wandering away to meet new dogs and people without leaving a note.  When all evidence convicts him, he senses our displeasure and backs away, tail tucked and ears down. Which is fine - he is a dog and the Dog Whisperer says dogs must earn what they're given.

Although God is our Master, our Boss, we can't earn what He gives us, especially His love. And, if we had the sense dogs have, we'd sense our Master's love for us even when He's displeased with our sin. He's told us He loves us, He's drawn us to Him and He has embedded us in His hands and heart. 

"The LORD appeared to us in the past saying,
 'I have loved you with an everlasting love;
 I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'" 
Jeremiah 31:3

He celebrates His love for us with a splendid head to foot wardrobe of salvation and righteousness - not our own dingy good deeds but His unfailing love and untouchable righteousness. And what does He ask in return? - our delight in His gifts, our joy in His love, our gratitude for His grace. 

"I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of His righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with jewels."
Isaiah 61:10

His eyes crinkle with joy when He watches us - the way we smile all the way to our eyes when gaze at our babies and grandbabies.  His face shines with a mysterious, unearthly acceptance we don't deserve, can't earn, and can't lose.  
"Let Your face shine on Your servant;
save me in Your unfailing love." 
Psalm 31:16

He keeps loving us when we fail to keep His commands. He continues steadfast and unshaken by both our personal catastrophes and our personal bests.  We can leave behind whatever we juggle, our framed certificates and awards, our civic activities,  resumes, and contribution records because none of it adds a gram of weight to the balance of God's love for us.  That scale, filled with His own righteousness and salvation and unfailing love, has already been filled to overflowing, thanks to Him alone.  His love is independent of anything about us.

"Let them give thanks to the LORD
for His unfailing love
and His wonderful deeds for mankind."
Psalm 107:8

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