As our FINDING CHURCH discussion continues, we’re turning to Chapter 8: Won Into Love. As best I could when I wrote it, this chapter is designed to get people to think through their own journey of living in the Father’s affection. We can’t even begin to share it until we first experience it from him. Loved people love well. If we don’t know we’re loved then we end up treating people out of our own needs, insecurities, jealousies, and fears, which makes our relationships manipulative.
Learning to live in his affection is a personal journey and I believe the essence of discipleship. If we want to experience the church of the new creation, we have to live in it ourselves and help other people discover it too.
You can join the discussion of Chapter 8: Won Into Love. Our first question is here: “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” That’s how Jesus presented the Gospel in the world. The relationship with God they thought was reserved for a future place, had invaded the world and was with them now. The kingdom is where God’s will intrudes into the brokenness of this world. If we used those words today, however, people would look at us crazy. Those words don’t have meaning in our culture. The last sentence of the first paragraph of chapter 8 is how I find myself often sharing the Gospel. “The God of the universe loves you more than anyone on this planet ever has or ever will.” Everything begins there. How he accomplished that on the cross and how he wins us out of brokenness is secondary to the hope that we are not damaged goods at that our Creator has come to rescue us with his love. I hope this simple phrase does what Jesus’ statement did, open people’s eyes to the hope that a greater redemption is near. We are not just victims of our past or the broken world. Does that express the Gospel for you? If not, how do you find yourself talking about it with other people? How do you see God sharing his life through you with others?
Excerpt from Chapter 8:
This is his to win, not ours to find. I have been winning my granddaughter into my love for nine years now. I didn’t expect her to figure it out on her own or to trust me because I told her so. I convince her by how I treat her. It may be God’s greatest joy to win people into his affection, no less for you than a woman at a well, a greedy tax collector in a tree, or a terrified fisherman who had betrayed him. Love reaches out to the beloved and seeks to win them into a relationship. That’s what courtship is about and hopefully marriage, too. Every day presents more opportunity to win a heart, even if it takes a lifetime.
You can find the discussion board here and see the list of topics we’ve covered. You can start at Chapter 1 and work your way through, or just join us in Chapter 8.