(Note: CAPS added merely for emphasis)
The college where I attend right now is a Reformed theology college. Sometimes I take a little break from the lectures because it can get somewhat . . .sad, I guess you could say. An example of this is how much I am avoiding my Theology 2 course because the messages are so negative. So much of the negative we go through in life, many of my professors believe, Yahweh did it to us on purpose, and don't teach that it is a consequence of our fallen world in which we live or of decisions we might make. One of the big reasons why we don’t follow Reformed theology.
I have to say, because I sometimes may be a little extra aware of this kind of thinking, people say things that often catch my attention more than it might others. In listening to another person’s teachings recently, I was saddened to hear the man say that we don’t deserve Yahweh’s love. He believes that because “we are sinners,” we aren’t worthy of his love. I was pinched at my core with those words. Because, by that belief, then we will NEVER be worthy or deserving of all the love Yahweh showers down upon each and every one of us every single day.
We all make mistakes in life. We are likely to sin – sin is transgression of Yahweh’s teachings – which are based on LOVE. I sinned this week – getting angry at someone I love. But guess what? We worked it out, and through Yeshua’s teachings of grace, we both forgave each other. WHY?? BECAUSE BOTH OF US ARE DESERVING OF EACH OTHER’S LOVE. EACH OF US IS WORTHY OF THAT LOVE. Just as we are each worthy and deserving of Yahweh’s love.
What does it mean to be “worthy?” It simply means to have adequate character or value.
How about the word “deserving?” It means to be qualified for the reward or assistance of another, based on our character and qualities.
Jim pointed out to me – Genesis – we were created IN HIS IMAGE. You might ask what that has to do with this discussion. We are each created magnificently, beautifully, humbly, greatly, with goodness and joy, peace and power – it’s all there, somewhere inside each of us. Yahweh sees that in us.
No one sees our true qualities and character better than Yahweh. No one sees our true heart better than HE does. Only HE knows what is truly hidden deep down inside us. So only He can make that decision accurately of our worthiness or our being deserving of His love.
I wrote another article some time ago about being blessed in spite of myself. Let me share with you, this week was another of those times. In the midst of my personal conflict, in spite of our individual natures, Yahweh blessed me greatly – with a sweet sister in faith who prayed for me the perfect words I needed to hear. She didn’t even know all the details of what was going on, she just opened her heart, prayed for me and The Holy Spirit whispered to her what I needed to hear. How did I deserve that when I had sinned?
I was given a group of ladies who helped me on my page to find a product that I could use. They all jumped in so willingly, kindly, and openly to make suggestions I could study out for myself. So loving, so kind, and wonderfully helpful. THEN, Yahweh blessed me with a coupon in the mail for that kind of product for almost free which helps our budget out greatly!
And finally, without asking, a kind friend sent me a PM with ideas on how to make my new videos better. She also showed her husband, a retired IT guy, one of the videos and HE gave her ideas to pass on to me, too!!!
I had been asking Yahweh, “How am I going to do ALL THIS on my own??? I just don’t know Abba! Please, HELP ME!”
And, in spite of myself, He felt I was worthy of His great blessings and His great and wonderous love. Yahweh felt I had adequate character, value and was qualified for His assistance.
I am not saying we are ENTITLED to His great love, nor am I saying we are ENTITLED to His great blessings. Entitlement implies it is yours no matter what – a guaranteed benefit from Yahweh. And Biblically speaking, it is very clear that entitlement DOES NOT WORK. How many times did His people feel entitled only to lose their blessings? How many times did Yahweh WARN THEM not to become complacent, not to take for granted all the great and wonderous blessings He showers down upon them – out of love. The big examples are easy to see: The flood and Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet there are others.
Deuteronomy 11:13-17 (WEB) Moses tells the people of Israel: It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to my commandments which I command you this day, to love Yahweh your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, and your new wine, and your oil. I will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and the anger of Yahweh be kindled against you, and he shut up the sky, so that there shall be no rain, and the land shall not yield its fruit; and you perish quickly from off the good land which Yahweh gives you.
In Judges 6, the Midianites, Amalekites, and others constantly came against the Israelites, constantly ruining their crops, livestock, and destroying the land, making it impossible for Israel to thrive. When they cried unto Yahweh, this is what happened: It happened, when the children of Israel cried to Yahweh because of Midian, that Yahweh sent a prophet to the children of Israel: and he said to them, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, 'I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land; and I said to you, "I am Yahweh your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell." But you have not listened to my voice.'" (WEB Verses 7-10)
We cannot sit back and continue to sin expecting that He will just continue to grant us flowing blessings. Even as His people of old, if we disrespect His grace and love, EXPECTING it without recognizing Him, honoring Him, without praising Him, and without our own desire to change our hearts – we run the risk of experiencing what His people have in the past. Not as lightening bolts of punishment shot down upon us. Simply by the removal of His grace, protection, and provision until we awaken to the fact that WE need to change, to be more like Yeshua.
We should NEVER take for granted or minimize our responsibility to live as though we are worthy of all that He showers upon us. We should always recognize when we make mistakes that we need to repent, take it to Him, set it straight with Him and with whomever else, and we should be willing to work on that issue in our lives. To not repeat our same mistakes.
We have been given benefits by Him already, Psalm 103:1-11 reminds us to not forget those benefits and reminds us how great His love is: (WEB version)
“Praise Yahweh, my soul! All that is within me, praise his holy name!
Praise Yahweh, my soul, and don't forget all his benefits; who forgives all your sins; who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies; who satisfies your desire with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Yahweh executes righteous acts, and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the children of Israel.
Yahweh is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness.
He will not always accuse; neither will he stay angry forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor repaid us for our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his loving kindness toward those who fear him.”
We can also find encouragement in the words of Yeshua recorded in Luke 12:22-30 (WEB):
He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, don't be anxious for your life, what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they don't sow, they don't reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds! Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height? 6If then you aren't able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? Don't seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious. For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things.
I pray you now see how YOU qualify for the reward and assistance of Yahweh, simply based on your character and qualities which He sees inside of you.
Blessings and shalom.
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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