04 April 2009

love story.

What has God taught me in college?

Where do I even begin?

I've learned that Christianity is not about becoming a better person. It's not this 12-step program to becoming the kind of person you wanted to be when you were six. It's not about finding harmony with your inner soul to experience this consistent level of happiness and universal peace. If you're going for that kind of thing, follow Oprah.

There's this point when I had to come to terms with my utter depravity. I had to stop thinking I knew everything. I had to trust this fact: "God: Creator. Me: Creation." I had to peel my eyes off of myself long enough to see the magnitude of the cross and the weight of His glory. I think some people have a hard time connecting to this Jesus who was crucified for our sins because it didn't happen yesterday. It's easier to blame the first-century civilization for his crucifixion. But every time I sin, every time I think that I know better than God does, every time I don't believe God is who he says he is, it's like I'm there in the crowd yelling, "Crucify him!" It's like I'm declaring that I don't think Christ is good enough for me.

Christ is good enough for me. Christ is more than good enough for me. He's everything I need. And the more I get to know him, the more experiences I have with him, the more beautiful the cross is. Every day he becomes more real to me, more intimate. Every day, I am falling in love.

I have a friend who recently got engaged. She is very in love. My friend told me that there was this point in this relationship -- quite possibly the point she realized she was in love -- when her thoughts shifted, so that every decision she made carried the question, "How will this benefit or effect him?"

I am falling in love with the One who knit me in my mother's womb, who knew what my first word would be and what my last word will be. I'm in love with this God who created the universe: every star, every grasshopper, every person, every flower.

(Do you know that the Bible uses 'unfailing love' 32 times and not once does it refer to someone or something other than God?)

God has taught me that Christianity isn't about becoming a better person. I was created to glorify God. What does that look like? It looks like being like Jesus. It looks like loving people and expecting nothing in return, meeting needs, hating sin and fighting lies. It looks like making every decision with "how is this glorifying to God?" at the center. When you're in love, it comes easier, I think. Paul knew this love. And as a result, Paul had a God-like jealousy, a jealousy that meant he wanted everyone else to know this love, too.

This is a love story. A story that unfolds when we genuinely believe that God is who He says He is, when we believe He loves us as much as He says He does - without condition, when we love Him back and live differently as a result.

This is my love story, and it's only the beginning.

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