If you look around. There are broken and dysfunctional families everywhere. What this means for us most of us is that we have a poor view or understanding of family and an especially marred view of a father.
Looking back on our childhood, some of us may say we had fathers who:
And all this and more has left the hearts of many males scarred. The problem is further amplified when we apply this framework when we think about our Heavenly Father.
As opposed to seeing the glory and beauty of the Father of lights (James 1:17) we can easily get this notion that more than we have been liberated in Christ, the bar has been set higher. Or for those who grasp part of God's love, fall into the trap of trying to please God and earn His approval, when He already loves us.
And while walking in love, and purity and holiness are important, they aren't most important. What's most important is understanding why we walk in these things. Observing your heart, and walking in these things because we love God is most important. Because the Pharisees walked in holiness and purity, yet Jesus goes so far as to call them children of Hell.
And when we acknowledge and understand that our obedience stems from our love for God. We can work out of Grace, and share in God's delight in our gifts as we use them for Him, and for His glory. As opposed to trying to perform in order that we can work into His love.
At the heart of the Gospel is God's love for humanity. God loves you just as you are (John 3:16), so much so that He sends His Son – Jesus Christ – to die on the cross for your sins.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." – John 3:16
One of the remarkable things about that is that Jesus didn't die for a future version of you. He died for you, whilst you were still his enemy.
"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." – Romans 5:8
And all who trust him will be saved
"For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."" – Romans 10:13
I love that the verse doesn't say, all who trust Him and never sin again. Or all who trust in Him, and become pastors right away. Or all who trust Him and die immediately before they can lose their salvation.
Salvation belongs to God, and we get to share in his victory. And he will finish the work he started in you, and it is His great pleasure to see you flourish and grow.
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." – Philippians 1:6
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. – Galatians 4:4-7 ESV
God didn't save you so you can be in the rat race. God saved you so you can be free from the rat race.How we think God sees us can affect why we do things for Him. Click To Tweet
Its important to remember that God loves us. When we understand that, we can do works with a heart that glorifies God, as opposed to a heart that is seeking to earn salvation.