"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15)
An incredible love exists towards you from the Lord. It is a perfect love. It is a love that casts out all fear. So many times we think we must clean ourselves up and be good enough before we come to the Lord. We look at the state we are in and think that God cannot love us, forgive us or accept us on that basis. But this is not the case. God loved you from the beginning. He sent Jesus into the world to die for you. God has chosen you to be his beloved child. He does not want you to exist in fear but wants you to understand who you are in Christ Jesus and how much you are loved.
Several years ago, a dog wandered into city hall where my mother worked. He was mangee, dirty and scared. They kept him for several days waiting for his owners to show up and claim him. But they never did. This dog had obviously been starved and beaten, he was in poor shape. My mother had compassion on him and loved him right from the start. She started campaigning my dad to come meet him. She wanted him to see this dog because she knew that he would see what she saw. A wonderful kindhearted dog needing a good home beneath the layers of dirt.
Needless to say, they welcomed Buddy into their home with open arms. They feed him, they cleaned him up, they took him to the Vet to get the necessary medicines to take care of the problems associated with neglect and most importantly they loved him. They welcomed him unconditionally into their home. It was nothing that Buddy did or contributed to the family that made them love him. They loved him and accepted him because of who they were not because of who Buddy was.
At first it was slow going. He was a friendly dog and fit nicely into the family. He was gentle with the grandkids and loved the lifestyle he was grafted into. However, in the early years when ever someone would approach him quickly he would cower and whimper in fear. There was no basis for this behavior in his new home, he had never been hit or mistreated. But this fear came from remembering where he had come from. Time and time again he learned of my parents goodness towards him instead of the pain he suffered before them. After a while this memory faded out of existence and the unconditional love he experience became his reality. No longer does Buddy cower and timidly approach those that love him, but he excitedly runs to them with no fear. Buddy experience their love and it changed everything.
That is why God sent the Holy Spirit into your heart to testify to the fact that He loves you. It has nothing to do with who you are or what you have done. It has everything to do with who He is and what He has done. He loved you. He gave His Son to die for you. He forgave you. He gave you his righteousness. He made you worthy to be a part of His family. The only thing we need to do is respond to this love. Many of us are like Buddy in the early stages, we are wrapped up in our fear remembering where we came from. But Paul said "you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear..." ( Romans 8:15 ). God does not want you to live in fear, shame or remorse. He wants you to get a revelation of this love he extends towards you. If we truly understand this and let the Holy Spirit remind us daily of this very thing then we will experience the confidence that comes with sonship. "...but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father" ( Romans 8:15 ). He longs for you to approach him in confidence. Hebrews tells us the Holy Spirit testifies to us the New Covenant that Jesus brought to us. He assures us that our sins and our lawless acts he remember no more ( Hebrews 10:15-17 ). And if he doesn't remember them, then we shouldn't either.
God Loves you! Today I pray that you understand this love and remove any fear that keeps you from experiencing this love and grace. May you approach God in full confidence and find rest at his feet. Today I am going to leave you with one of my favorite verses, This is what God spoke about you even before you were born.
"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."