I pray that my words will paint a picture of God's love for you, His treasure, as I bring encouragement from the Word of God and my perspective of events and life filtered through the lense of faith.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. II CORINTHIANS 4:6,7

Visit my webpage www.ruthmcmillanmayfield.com to learn more about my ministry, and my books. While you are here, enjoy God's presence.


God's Love towards Us

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us...
1 John 4:10
I realized today that I don't really know the love of God. I have not understood it, nor have I embraced it. I have been reluctant to receive the fullness He offers, and most horribly, I have not loved others with the love of God, as He would love have me love them. Thankfully the Father's love towards us (towards me) does not condemn my failure, nor my weakness. That's the whole point.

My version of love has been based on soulish, selfish gain. I loved to be loved--by my parents as a child and later by God. It didn't matter to me if my spouse, children or friends found me unlovable--I didn't care because I knew God loved me. I was willing to totally dedicate myself to pleasing God. Any sin or selfishness--weakness--in me was put under control of my spirit--submitted to the Holy Spirit. God's strength came through to overshadow my weakness with His strength--for His glory. I hate my weaknesses. I even encouraged others to trust God to overcome any weakness that might beset them. All good and scriptural, however: The wholeness and fullness of God's love fills our weakness without always necessarily removing it.

I recently heard Pastor Tom Smardz say, "God himself has a weakness, it is us." God loves us! This is in spite of our weaknesses, our ungodliness. While we were yet sinners, God loved us so much that He sent His son Jesus to die in our place so that we could be reconciled to a holy, righteous, and just God. I only need to accept Him for who He is--my Lord and my God. He loves us in an unconditional way beyond our comprehension. I am my Father's weakness--yet he accepts me and loves me, filling my weakness with His love, for His glory.

My own weakness is my husband's current illness. His illness has made him very different than the man I married--at least temporarily. Our changed lives, my responsibilities and my caring for him exhausts me so much that I feel I have no energy to be who God has called me to be. In fact my personality and character flaws are now brought out by him, instead of my gifts, talents--my best--as it once was, when we would minister together. I often abhor myself when my attitude and sharp tongue fall far short of God's love and mercy. I sometimes miss the opportunity to honor my husband--when he needs it most.

Yet, I am absolutely powerless to change--for the first time in my life I feel really powerless in this situation. I trust God, I have faith that He can do something to redeem the situation. However, I can only throw up my hands in further frustration, as I seem to sink lower instead of rising above my sin and weakness. My life has not been easy, I have often felt a bit like Job in the Bible. But for the first time in my life, I really feel as if I am sitting on an ash heap--scraping my hideous boils with a sharp rock--alone--with no one to really confide in. Friends encourage me pointing out my godly responses and basically perpetuating my hatred of my weakness--yet this weakness is the cross that I am to take up, to embrace, so that God can transform me and the situation.

Jesus took up His cross submitting to an unjust death, rejection and torture. In His submission the entire scenario transformed from what appeared to be Satan's greatest victory--into Satan's ultimate defeat. The cross is a heavy, back breaking burden--too much to bear. Yet we are told to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Denying yourself the little things in life prepares you to carry the cross the Lord has destined for you in your path towards Christ-likeness. Jesus' motivation was His love, that must be ours--to love as He loves. Pure and unquestioning love for God, trust and obedience, are indeed pleasing to God. However scripture states:

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

His grace is His love gift that cannot be earned and is never deserved. This perfect(mature/complete) love fills to overflowing as we allow Him to fill our weakness that we might reflect His glory in the midst of any trial. He is worthy of our trust. He is worthy of our praise. Always...

Copyright © 2008 by Ruth Mayfield All rights reserved. These articles may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, by including this notice.

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