When I was down and on my way out, I had a miserable image of myself. Worse yet, I had a bad image of fathers. So, the concept of a “Father God” was toxic to me. The Pastor at our local church in Costa Rica, Thomas Snow, shared this message with me from the late, great Brennan Manning. I had been asking him for a couple weeks where I would end up if I took my own life. I wasn’t happy. Haha. It stirred up God’s Spirit that was already in me. I had been running from God for over 20 years after I met God. This is the first message that I meditated on every day after I had surrendered and committed to follow Jesus: “God loves you as you are and not as you should be” by Pastor Brennan Manning, author of The Ragamuffin Gospel.
This is the message I heard while I was in faith based rehabilitation at Living Word Recovery Center in Brooklyn Park, MN. I was given and read Pastor Dykstra’s book by the same name, Grace on Tap. This helped to keep me on track with Jesus once I realized how much Jesus loves me. You see, Christ came to abolish religion and to point out what hypocrites religionists are. The Law never saved nor changed one single person. Only a relationship with Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior and receiving His crazy, ridiculous, overwhelming, incomprehensible, vulgar, infinite grace – can.
I hope this helps you. It’s a process, but, thank God that walking in and by Christ’s Holy Spirit and according to His Word – I know how much He loves me. The religious spirits around us, even in our churches, want to mute this message. Don’t let them. I hope this encourages you. Repent, admit that you’re a sinner and you can’t help it. Receive the free gift that is ONLY available by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace to you in Jesus’ name,
Kent (in Panama)