The Gospel

The-Gospel-LR

The Gospel
Focusing on the Root which is His Love
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Gospel means Good News. The more I scrutinize the simple Gospel of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the more I am changed by it. We must grasp the Gospel because through its message, the Lord frames our hearts and thoughts. Our behavior is not a concern, because it simply flows from the core of the Gospel’s message. If we try to align our behavior instead of our hearts, we are devastated when we fail. If we allow Him to align our hearts, even when we fail, we know we are safe in His love.

Yeshua said to Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world but to save the world through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has already been judged, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment that light is come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:16-19)

The Apostle Paul wrote, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...” (Romans 3:23)

God does not pronounce judgment on anyone. Our deeds have pronounced our sentence, and we have been found guilty. No question. Our self-centeredness, pride, vanity, shame, and total disregard for God have left us in ruin. We cannot lift our heads. We are helpless, sinful, ungodly enemies of God (Romans 5:6-10). We are completely undeserving of pardon from the Immortal Invisible God Who reigns in Light. All of us. Our stain and foulness have no place in the Beautiful Heaven called Beulah Land.

But God in Yeshua paid for our crimes on the cross. Our guilt was completely removed when we received Yeshua’s sacrifice on our behalf. The Holy Spirit came to reside in us, and we were born anew – not by trying, but by yielding to Him and receiving His gift of forgiveness and fellowship. We rest in this secure position in His love.  

Do you really believe that God loves you no matter what?... no matter how you perform?... no matter how you fall short or succeed?” The true definition of hesed (God’s love) is that He delights to lavish His love on the undeserving because we received the greatest Gift from His heart. He brought us into His family. The Spirit enables us to know beyond doubt that He loves us.

There is much self-hatred and shame in the church. Many Christians focus on their performance and character-building when God is longing for us to get lost in His love. When I REALLY believe that my identity is one loved by God, I am ecstatic about His forgiveness and mercy that cover me. This joy nourishes the obedience that just happens like fruit ripening on a tree.

If my goal is to be virtuous, spotless, useful, and effective, I am full of shame when I fail. But if my goal is to let Him love me, if I fail, I am sorry, but I am not devastated. I live in freedom in His love.

My greatest sin is concentrating on my weakness and “I should haves...” rather than on what I do right. Even just yesterday as I thought about this, my brain and heart were discouraged because I had not yet accomplished what I “should have.” So, instead, I began to praise God for what I had accomplished – I finished the laundry, wrote cards to hurting friends, loved my husband by preparing lunch, spent time with a neighbor, and prayed with friend!  

Last Saturday I asked my husband, Dusty, to talk with me about the state of current events. I was a bit frustrated by his quietness, expressing “concerns” about our preparedness and other matters regarding terrorism, the virus, and navigating through the maze of decisions we have never faced before. Finally, Dusty spoke: “Beth Ann, no matter what happens, I know God loves me. No one can take away His love for me or my salvation. If I am hungry or wrongly accused, locked up in a cell, He will be with me, and I will know He loves me. Yes, I will do the best I can, but I belong to God, and I will not be afraid.”

Well then… I’m glad I asked. I was strengthened by Dusty’s strength.

So, dear friend, do you really believe God loves you no matter what? And I mean, no matter what? No matter your circumstances, sin, or failure?

Here is a list of Scriptures for us to consider that encapsulate the simple core of the Gospel:

  • John 3:14-17
  • Romans 5:8-9
  • Romans 8:26-39
  • 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Titus 3:3-7

Father, deepen our awareness of Your unfailing love for us. Whisper in our ears so we can hear You and follow. I receive Your love today. I love You back. Fill me with the energy, joy, and direction of the Holy Spirit toward the work you have created me for. Let’s dance this life together come what may. Thank You, thank You, thank You for restoring me to You through Yeshua the Messiah!

______________________
A last, clarifying note:
Paul said, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2)

Our lives in the Spirit are not to be marked by perpetual sin. But what I am wanting to communicate is the focus of the Gospel which is His love. His love is the fuel for our lives. We serious Christians forget the magnitude and all-encompassing nature of God’s love. (I say this because I see it every day.) Someday, I hope to share my notes on the Song of Songs which is a prophetic word in the Old Testament about the love Messiah has for the church. I have collected my notes from two Messianic Jewish teachers and my own connections in Scripture.

(The image for this writing is a part of the Yahweh Rapha Art Card found here at Flower Girl Greetings.)

Shale Fragments™ - devotionals by Beth Ann Phifer is a division of Flower Girl Greetings, LLC. ©2020, All Rights Reserved.
Blessings and love in Him,
Beth Ann

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Wednesday, 30 November 2022

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Welcome to Shale Fragments, a collection of writings and art for individual and group use!

Teaching God’s truth and the beauty of His Word is my greatest delight! My art card company, Flower Girl Greetings, was launched in 2012 with this purpose. In April 2020, ShaleFragments.com became the gathering place for the writings.

As I have studied the rich meanings of the original Greek and Hebrew languages of the Bible, I continue to see beautiful progressions and connections that compel me to organize and convey their life-changing beauty! 

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