A group of us were gathered in my living room last Monday night talking about our impression of what we had just heard. We were listening to the first track of Graham Cooke’s Devotional Soaking series, “Becoming the Beloved.” (YouTube clip below). We have used these CD series in our discipleship and ministry school for a couple of years now. They are transformational, to say the least.
But the particular line that struck a couple of us this time was, “It is My perception of you that must occupy your affections.”
It is HIS perception.
What God thinks.
It is HIS appraisal of you that must gladden your heart.
Not what you think about yourself. Not how people love you, or see you, or what they may say about you. Not even how well you love God, or how well you serve Him. It’s not based on those things at all.
No, our heart must be tuned to HIS view of us.
For this is the key to a life well lived and loved. Because life always comes down to the issues of our heart–the seat of our affections.
We know that the commandment that covers all commandments is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:29-30), but do we also understand that we can only do this because He loved us that way first–with all HIS heart, soul, mind and strength.
So what does God loving you with all of HIS heart, soul, mind and strength look like for you?
Because this reality is HIS perception of you.
But then we’re also told it’s equally important to love others the same way we love ourselves (Mark 12:31).
How does one do that successfully? Selflessly? Obediently? Affectionately?
Again, His perception of us is the key. We determine in our hearts only to see ourselves the way HE sees us. And if He loved us and places such value on us that He gave Jesus for us, who are we to argue?
And again, God loves you the same way He loves Himself (John 15:9; 17:23)
Did you get that? God loves YOU the SAME as He loves Himself.
Again, we receive only His perception of us and let His thoughts occupy our affections. For then, and only then, can we truly love others rightly.
So we see that Jesus’ commandments here aren’t something tedious or burdensome (1 John 5:3), not something based on our perception or our valuation…but His.
We love with His love.
Beloved, whose perception is guiding your affections? Turn your heart to His heart. Believe what He says about you. Don’t accept anything else.
This is true repentance. Recalibrating our thoughts to His thoughts, beholding Him, His affections and being transformed into who He has already made us (Rom.12:2; 2 Cor.3:18).
And if you have not heard these devotional sets before, take a listen below. You can get all three complete series from Brilliant Book House. I highly recommend them.
You are loved.