Saturday, September 5, 2009

Greater Than Our Heart

Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, speaks powerfully of adoption into the family of God through Christ.

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:14-17). Whereas before we were strangers, orphans, bondservants to sin, children without a father, now we are members of an eternal family, God's family. Through the Atonement of Christ, we become legitimate heirs, joint-heirs with the only perfect man to live on this earth. As such, we inherit all that our Father has.

The first epistle of John likewise speaks about becoming the children of God through the love of Christ, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God...and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him" (1 John 3:1-2).

One of Satan's most successful tactics is to obscure our divine nature, to make us feel worthless or unworthy of God's love. It was a trick he tried with Moses, saying, "Moses, son of man, worship me" (Moses 1:12). It is a trick he tries with you and me, saying, "You will never be good enough. You are dirty, you are unclean. God will never love you. You are not worthy." Sometimes we make the mistake of believing the adversary. We forget that he is the father of nothing but lies, while God is the Father of our souls. We allow our hearts to condemn us and thus fail to accept and bask in our Creator's great love.

John speaks of this tendency, and how to overcome it. He says, "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth....For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God (1 John 3:18-21).

God is greater than our heart. He knows all things. Even when we condemn ourselves, even when we fall, God does not condemn us. He wants us for His own. He has paid the price of the blood of His Son to redeem us. And, having paid that price, He will not desert us now. As Paul put it, "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?...Christ...is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8:31-37).

More than conquerors, he says. Because the Atonement, by which we conquer, was infinite for all mankind (2 Nephi 25:16), it is more than enough for us to prevail in whatever battle we fight. It is enough to make us more than conquerors.

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).

I, with Paul, am fully persuaded of the infinite and eternal power of the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. He is our Father. He loves us. And if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart.

2 comments:

  1. Amy, I love you. Thanks for always posting such great stuff. You are amazing and I am your biggest fan.
    Kim K.

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  2. "more than conquerors" because a mindset of conquering requires that someone be vanquished, and Christ's love is universally extended even to His enemies, even to those who cursed Him, spat upon Him, crucified Him.

    More than conquerors because He descended beneath all things when he could have risen above them.

    More than conquerors because in his death, the 'victory' of his foes, he overcame the world and worldly contention.

    And we are called to live as he did, and save rather than conquer. To be more than conquerors.

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