“In your pursuit of godliness, have you left Jesus behind?”
Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick is a book that fits perfectly with a study of Galatians. This book encourages us to focus on the love of Christ displayed at the cross, not just for our salvation, but for living our everyday life as well. So often, as well-taught believers we can slip into thinking that the cross had an impact for our salvation and then the rest of the Christian walk is up to us and our own discipline. Somehow grace becomes something that we need when we sin rather than something that we need to face everyday life. This book is full of Scripture and probing questions to evaluate your personal walk with the Lord.
Where did the ongoing incarnation of Jesus Christ intersect with your life yesterday? We all know that the crucifixion is important for our initial salvation, but what did it mean this morning? Does Calvary inform and warm your heart when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or hearing bad news from your doctor? Does His sinless life comfort you when you realize that you’ve just sinned in the same way, again? In other words, is He significantly relevant to you in your daily walk with him?
We are aware of our need to change behavior in our lives, but where are we looking to find the power to bring about that change? Outwardly, the answer may seem the same, but are you motivated by the love of God or are you driven by self-effort? Are you reading Scripture looking for something you must do to make yourself holy, or are you reading Scripture seeing the love that has been poured upon us by a holy and righteous God–a love that brings about change in our lives? When we meditate on the cross we are driven not by duty or a desire to be approved by others, but we are driven to holiness by the love that God has shown us. We understand our debt and our inability to change ourselves, and we look to the One who loves us with a love we could never earn.
According to Fitzpatrick:
If you neglect to focus on God’s love for you in Christ, your Christianity will soon be reduced to a program of self-improvement–just one of many methods to help you “get your act together.” And although that might seem like a worthy goal, it isn’t true Christianity at all. True Christianity is not a program of self-improvement; it’s an acknowledgement that something more than self-improvement is needed. What’s needed is death and resurrection: gospel words, gospel constructs, gospel motives, gospel power–a loving Redeemer.
This book is a heartfelt and in-depth reminder of God’s love. To show how the cross applies, Elyse walks readers through practical situations. Elyse allows us to peer into the lives of others as she gives counsel centered on the cross of Christ. She is not advocating the idea there is no need for discipline in the Christian life, but she is saying that discipline without the cross of Christ is worthless.
Because He Loves Me has been a great joy to me. As I have been reminded of the truth of God’s love, I have had to ask myself the question, “In my pursuit of godliness, have I left Jesus behind?” I am sad to say at times that has been true. I am often more focused on what I am doing instead of what He is doing. When God’s love fades into the background, I can find the spiritual disciplines dry and dutiful. I am thankful for a book that reminds me that the gospel is good news and it is good news for every day! I pray that as this truth has deeply touched me (again), I will interpret even the everyday aspects of life through the grid of “because He loves me.”
|Because He Loves Me|
Hannah Senn lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with her husband Tim and their four daughters. She is a pastor’s wife and homeschool mom. She is involved in ladies Bible study, care group ministry, and the Scripture memory program at The Bible Church of Little Rock. She enjoys serving in her church, reading, exercising, and spending time with her family.
Editor’s Note: The Bible Church of Little Rock women’s ministry has a wonderful blog, Renewing Our Mind. If you are a women’s ministry leader, you will want to check out the marvelous job of encouraging Jen is doing with the blog.