My youngest daughter has been experiencing some behavioral difficulties lately. To be fair, she is behaving precisely how one should expect an unregenerate four year old to behave (). Nonetheless, she has found herself experiencing various forms of loving discipline recently.
One night this week as I went upstairs to pray with the girls before bed one of these behavioral issues appeared so I sat on the edge of her bed and explained to her how that type of behavior was not what was expected from her and that poor choices affect not only her, but the entire family. Then it happened. Her big blue eyes filled with tears and all she could say was that she was sorry. It broke my heart. I held her close and told her I loved her. But that night I felt that she needed a bit more than that. I told her why I loved her.
I looked her in eye, wiped the tears from her face and told her that I loved her for one reason only; she was mine. I explained that I did not love her because she was cute. She is. I told her that I did not love her because she is funny. Oh my, she is. I told her that I did not love her because she obeyed or was well behaved. I assured her that I love her because she is mine.
She will always be mine. Nothing can change that. Until the end of time that little girl will be my daughter. One day she may cease to identify herself as cute. She may become very serious and lose her sense of humor. Her obedience will waiver and her behavior will change with the seasons. All of those things are conditional. They may or may not change. But she will always be mine and that is why I will always love her. Nothing she can or will do will ever change that fact. She needed to be reassured of that truth that night.
Then I turned my attention to my oldest daughter. That very morning she had repented of her sins and confessed Christ as Lord and Savior (). I looked at her and explained that the Father’s love for her would work in the same manner as I had explained to her sister. She was now a child of the Creator of the Universe, a joint heir with Christ (). I explained to her that as she walks the road of sanctification she will stumble and fall. At some point she will fail so miserably that she will wonder if there is any way that God could still love her, if he could possibly use someone as broken as she will feel. I told her that when that time comes, and it will come, she needs to remember that God loves her because she is His, not because of what she has done or what she might do in the future ().
Every follower of Christ has experienced the pain of knowing that they have brought shame to the name of Christ through participation in sin (). Every believer has mourned over the continual struggle with the desires of the flesh and the damage it does to the testimony of the goodness of Christ (). The first thing you need to realize is that it is good that you grieve over sin. That is evidence of the Holy Spirit working in your heart (). You also need to realize the same thing I told my daughters. You have not been chosen by God because of what you can offer Him. He does not need you. He is the omnipotent, eternal, God of Creation. You are His because in His infinite goodness He chose you before the creation of the world to be a part of His family (). Nothing can change that, and nothing ever will (). You are loved because you are His.
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. (ESV)
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (ESV)
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (ESV)
10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (ESV)
15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (ESV)
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (ESV)
7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (ESV)
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV)
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (ESV)