“Why do you love me?”

That’s the question my oldest son asked me a few months back. It came out of nowhere right after I told him that I loved him. I don’t think it meant much for him, it was probably just one of those impulsive things that 2 year olds do.

The question, however, is more significant and profound than he realizes. We ask this question daily. In many ways our life’s direction is determined by how this question is answered.

Not only is it a “why” question that seeks to know the reason and purpose behind something, but it’s a why question about love. If you think about it, you ask this on a subconscious person who is involved with you on any level. All our relationships depend on the answer to, “why does this person love me?”

If we take the meaning of love to be broader than romantic love then you can see that when we want to know why people are friends with us, or why our coworkers treat us a certain way, or why our spouses do the things they do, or whether we should trust our pastors, has to do with they love toward us.

On an even more significant level this question relates to why does God love someone. Is it because of how good they are? How much good they have done for him? How sincere they are or how much effort they exert? Maybe because of church, denomination, theological system they hold to?

I think that fundamentally God’s answer to that question concerning his children would be no different than mine to my son – “it is because you are my son.”

This is the essence of the Gospel. This is why Christ came, lived, died, and was raised again. It is so that we by faith could not only have our sins forgiven and guilt removed, but so that we would become the children of God. Loved by him because we are now related to him as his children.

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Thanksgiving Thanks

John 9 records for us a fascinating story about Jesus healing a man who was born blind. The story shows us how Jesus views people in contrast to those around him.

To the disciples this man is no more that a mere cold theological conundrum, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” To the Pharisees he is an object of heretical and rebellious investigation. Neither seems to have any concern or compassion on the poor man.

Jesus is strikingly different. His focus is not on the theological issues at hand, but rather caring for this man. He is the only one in the story who sees a human being in need and not a thing to dissect and discuss.  He gives the man physical and spiritual eyes. This is so beautiful about Jesus, in the midst of any situation He doesn’t miss the person.  For anyone who’s been a Christian any length of time knows that Jesus deals ever so caringly with all His own, not just this man.

However, this is not the main reason I’m thankful for Jesus Christ this thanksgiving. The situation with the blind man turned into a very important discussion between Jesus and those who were surrounding Him. Two of His statements in particular make me grateful.

In v. 39 He says, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” I too once was blind, but now by His grace I’ve been given eyes to see!

In chapter 10 as the discussion goes on Jesus says, “…I lay down my life for the sheep.“ Jesus gave His life so that I may not only have spiritual eyes, but eternal life as well. He paid the price for my freedom.

I am most thankful for Jesus’ death and gift of spiritual sight this thanksgiving.

Resources on Depression, Mental Illness, and the Christian Response

Here are some follow up resources to my blog post earlier this week.

Some Interviews:
-Faith and mental illness: http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2014/07/06/whi-1213-faith-and-mental-illness/
-Darkness is my only companion: http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2014/07/13/whi-1214-darkness-is-my-only-companion/
-Rid of my disgrace: http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2014/07/20/whi-1215-rid-of-my-disgrace/
-Extravagant grace: http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2014/07/27/whi-1216-extravagant-grace/

A few short films: http://headhearthand.org/blog/2014/02/17/films/

A number of articles and blog posts: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2013/05/a-conversation-about-faith-and-mental-illness/

Hope you find them helpful!!