By: Carole L. Haines
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28)
As I was sharing with my sweet husband this morning about a quote that I love, God gave me an amazing picture in my mind. The quote goes something like this:
“To inoculate me against the praise of man, the Lord baptized me in the criticism of man until I died to the control of man.” Francis Frangipane.
The quote was shared with me in a slightly more modern wording. The way I heard it was, “God baptized me into the criticism of man in order to free me from the fear of man.”
The picture that God gave to me in my mind was that of a rushing stream. Seeking the approval of man is as fleeting as pouring a cup of water at the bend in a stream and then rushing a mile downstream to try to gather that exact same cup of water again. It’s impossible, and a foolish waste of time. God’s desire for His people is to be so filled up with His love that we spill over into a world seeking love in all the wrong places. God’s love is perfect toward us. God’s Word is filled with the securing words of His unwavering, unceasing, unending love.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)
“God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)
It is into the immersion of this love that we are baptized as believers, covered in it, filled with it. But so often we still look to people for our worth and value. Or we look to achievements, diplomas and awards on the walls. Perhaps it’s wealth, riches, power, whatever. But nothing can satisfy this need for love and approval but God Himself. Let’s Journey deeper into that love and find that His love will displace our fears and cast them out.
Join me again tomorrow for the next breath of fresh air in God’s love. Breathe deeply, these Scriptures, Dear Believer, the air of God’s love is pure, fresh, clean and reviving.