“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1, NIV
I’ve been teaching through the Lord’s Prayer with my kids in Bible class the last few weeks, and the idea that God is my Father has really been close to the forefront of my mind. As a dad myself, I have constant reminders of the love a father has for his kids, and in those moments it’s as if my Father is tapping me on the shoulder and going “See! If you love them THAT much, how much MORE do I love them, and you!”
I know I’m alone here, but sometimes, it’s just hard to believe that God really loves me that much. I mean, I know the promises of Scripture. I know the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet still, in the back of my mind, there’s always been this nagging doubt.
Yeah, I know I’m alone here. Surely no one else feels this way. But it goes like this:
“Yes, God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son…but think of all YOU’VE done!” (John 3:16)
“Yes, the blood of Christ cleanses us from sin (Hebrews 9:14)…but what about THAT?”
Or any other thousand accusations.
Now before you get all worried, I’m well aware of where these accusations come from. I know that the accuser of the brothers (Rev.12:10) is working hard on all of us sons and daughters of God. Day and night, right?
So back to the topic at hand: lately, God has given me an extra dose of His love for me, in the form of my two daughters. You see, though I’m the youngest (and some would say the most spoiled, but they’re just jealous) of five kids, and though I was/am loved greatly by my Dad, you never really understand just how deep a father’s love runs until you become one yourself.
Only when you’re holding your crying child in your arms after they hurt their toe, and you’d give anything to take away the pain, do you realize just how great the Father’s love for us is.
Only when you’re holding your fevered child, coughing and crying, and you pray that God would send the sickness on you instead of them, do you realize just how great the Father’s love for us is.
Only when you look in on your child late at night, and watch their chest rise and fall with each breath, and you utter a silent prayer of praise to the gracious God that blessed you with them, do you realize just how great the Father’s love for us is.
Only when you have to correct your child for disobedience, in order to steer them in the right path, and the saying you heard from your parents “this is going to hurt me a lot more than you” suddenly rings true, do you realize just how great the Father’s love for us is.
The list could go on. Parents, you know what I’m saying. Here it is in short:
There is absolutely nothing my kids could do that would ever make me stop loving them, or wanting the best for them. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to give them exactly what they need.
And that’s just what the Father did for us. We were sick, dying…no, dead in our sins. And the Father, in His infinite love and mercy, sent HIS one and only Son, to pay the price we could never pay, that we might know and enjoy His love and mercy forever. So when you think of the cross, when you think of what it cost, think of the heart of the Father that’s behind it.
Indeed, He has lavished us with His love.