There are some battles I don’t fight much anymore.
When I was a younger man (I’m 30!) strong of heart and mind I would dive into whatever simmering debate kept my idle polemic skills warm. These were mostly good hearty theological discussions of:
Premillennial Eschatology vs Amillennial
Continuationist Charistmaticism vs. Cessationism
God’s Sovereignty vs. Man’s Free Will
I still dabble in these things. But my fragile frame of mind and soul doesn’t find much joy in the debate halls anymore. It may just be the season I’m in. I can really only handle simple truth now. Like the truth that has haunted me since Vacation Bible Schools and tree fort battles dominated my childhood summer days. The rhyme that goes:
Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so.
The little ditty of epic truth that I could barely grasp as a 4-year-old. Or maybe I grasped it perfectly as only a child can.
Being settled, assured, and knowing the love of Jesus is a lifetime pursuit that never ends. Resting in unconditional love is the simplest, and hardest, posture in life. Love without condition is not believable, because we attach conditions to every thing. With every shovel of self-righteous assurance or self loathing condemnation, we’re trying to dig our way back to a perfect garden.
We’ve tied the universal principle of reaping and sowing to God’s affection toward us. This affection isn’t constrained by a law or principle, it’s wild and free. But bondage to our good and bad works restrains us.
Like if we show up to God’s gate with enough dirt in our fingernails and sweat on our brow we’ll get a pass. But only the blood, dirt and sweat of Christ is a good and perfect payment on our behalf. And he gives entrance freely because He love us. It’s in his nature to do such things for dirty sweaty folks like us.
“This we know.”
Not “this we understand”
We can’t understand perfect love.
“For the Bible tells me so…”
It’s evident in the word He’s given us. He doesn’t leave this awareness solely up to our shifting emotions or weak intellectual reasoning. He gives evidence outside of ourselves. That is fixed and assured and anchored in timeless passages of truth.
It’s there. In black and white and clear in its propositional brilliance.
It’s a message that curious 4 year olds, disenchanted 30 year olds, and stubborn 70 year olds can all cling to and feel afresh:
“Jesus loves me this I know…”
The battle to believe and rest in that every day may be the most urgent fight of our time.