An affirmation of love
Earlier this afternoon we returned from our church retreat in the Swiss Alpine town of Leysin.
It was a wonderful time of fellowship and I was blessed with a fresh perspective on the significance of the spoken words of the Father when Jesus was baptised “… and a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased…” Luke 3:22 (New International Version). Before this weekend I have never paused to reflect on the significance of these words. I wish thank Dr. Erik Spruyt, our guest speaker, as I now have a better understanding and more importantly appreciate the significance of these words to me.
At the time when God spoke these words, Jesus’s ministry had not yet taken off and He had not performed any miracles. These words affirmed God’s love before Jesus had done anything. On a personal level I all too often feel pressure to prove myself, or to perform or justify myself. This weekend I realized that God’s affirmation to Jesus also extends to me and that He has affirmed me with love which is constant and, best of all, that I do not first have to perform to receive it. To know who I am in Him is to know that I am loved and have been affirmed – no more striving to prove myself first to seek acceptance!
I will try to be still, to listen to God’s voice, to receive the Spirit and then to act out of the love that God has given to me. I will remember who I am in Him and I will respond in what I do with the knowing of my security in Him.
Meeting the Father at the cross
When discussing ‘Meeting the Father at the cross’, we talked about sin; hurt; unmet needs and false beliefs. The Spirit lead us to focus on hurt and I found it deeply insightful that I have subconsciously tried to deal with some feelings and lies caused by hurt in my own strength, not knowing that as with confession of sins, I can also give these feelings to Jesus. He paid the ultimate price on the cross not only for my sins, but also took the burden on Himself of all negative feelings or thoughts which can be caused by hurt, for example anger, frustration, disappointment, injustice etc. This can be done in prayer and I have experienced a wonderful release in doing so, a process which I look forward to continue with. Perhaps the two pictures below which I posted in the past in the photography section of the website provide a graphic description of sorts – You can move from this …
Paris: Street art near Pompidou museum 2 July 2012
to this ….
Moscow, Russia – Girl cooling off in summer heatwave
‘’… I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe….’’ Ephesians 1:18-19 (New International Version).
Ben de Bruyn – Copyright © 2013