Updated: Jan 27
If you haven't read my prior blogs and have some additional time, scroll around to read the other blogs in this series.
Galatians 5: 1
In my Wednesday devotional blog, I wrote about how scripture assures us of God's love. But there is still a trick: We must accept God's love. How do we do that? After running on empty, how do we fill our "love tank" with God's love? How do we embrace God's love in our hearts, embed it in our souls, and live it in our daily lives?
In my book and video series, Live Like You're Loved, I answer these questions with my chapter on the SAIL steps. SAIL is an acronym for Step In, Accept, Improve, and Live It. These are the "baby steps," the actions, to live like you are loved.
Am I going to explain them fully in a short blog? Impossible! Plus, to fully learn them, you'll want to purchase the book and video series! (See how at the end of this blog).
But let me touch on a couple of points in this path to acceptance of God's love. The first point is, you must accept that you have value and worth. If you have lived your life with a negative self-image, or if you have been beaten down by life telling you that you're not good enough, it's hard to accept your value and worth. The thing is, your value and worth come from God. You are a beloved child of God with unique value and worth. God loves you individually and wants a relationship with you. Amazing - the creator and ruler of universe craves a personal relationship with you!
How can we accept our value and worth? I suggest a couple of approaches, one from the inside, the other from the outside. From the inside, count your blessings. We tend to focus on the negative. But each of us are blessed in some way. When you count your blessings, and recognize the provider of those blessings, you begin to realize God's love for you personally.
From the outside, pray for the affirmation of the Holy Spirit. This is a more mystical approach, to be sure, but the Spirit may answer in practical ways, either immediately or gradually. I believe that if you pray for affirmation of your personal value and worth, you will begin to feel an assurance of it.
The second point is that you must discard your baggage. God intended us to live freely, not to be bound up by the weight of our baggage. The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 5: 1:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Paul is certainly thinking of the slavery from the Law that could not be fulfilled as well as from slavery to sin. But I believe that Christ also sets us free from baggage, the things that weigh us down, the trouble that blocks us from fully living like we're loved. Baggage can be:
Bad habits and addictions
And other troubles that I list in the book and videos. The call of Christ is to discard your baggage and join him in living freely, in living like you're loved.
I hope you can see some ingredients here for the overall recipe of living like you're loved. God's love is meant to assure us of our value and worth. It's meant to free us from baggage that keeps us focused on ourselves, rather than focused on God's ways and our love toward others.
Maybe you find it hard to forgive yourself for not accepting God's love, for allowing yourself to be weighed down by baggage, for not fully living as a valuable, worthy child of God. Guess what? God doesn't only love you, but He forgives you. And that can be even harder for you to believe. That's the topic of my upcoming Wednesday devotional, the scriptural basis of God's forgiveness.
These blogs can only scratch the surface of the entirety of the work, "Live Like You're Loved." It's a book for you to read individually or with a group. It's also a video series that your group can watch and discuss. You can dive deeper with a Participant's Guide that allows you to further process the concepts with activities, questions, meditations and Bible study. Learn more about the full range of offerings at CecilTaylorMinistries.com. For just the printed materials, you can also find them at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Dove Christian Publishers.