The Bible is a story of our redemption. A love story of God and His people. It is absolute love: the essence of God. (1 John 4:16) It is revealed to us in its perfection of relationships between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Love is given and passed on to us. The love of the Godhead created all things and has come to gather all things back to itself. All creation is born of love and is absolutely loved. It is by His love that we are called into relationship with Him and His creation.
I am thankful that Paul prays for us:
“For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpassess knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV. Understanding the love of God will secure your feet no matter what terrain they travel.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1 NIV.
We are children of love and share in His divine nature. He came and walked among us to bring us into His household. We are His family. God has made each of us exactly as He intended and has planned our every step. If we meditate on the words and actions of His Son, we would then know a bit of the love He has for us.
We will all be separated from someone we dearly love at some point in our lives. I often think this is a taste of what God the Father and God the Son experienced that day Jesus hung on the cross. No pain was greater for Jesus than to be apart from His Father. It was not the thought of enduring the physical suffering that caused Him to sweat drops of blood, it was the loss of the presence of His Father: wretching, soul shattering pain. My hope is this speaks volumes to us all of our worth in God’s eyes. We are His beloved.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18 NIV. And this is exactly how God loves us – with actions and in truth. Jesus’ life demonstrated this love for us all to witness: “I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.“ John 17:26 NIV. The love between Father and Son is the same love that they have for us: Jesus prays, “May they also be in us.” John 17:21 NIV. This love pursues relationship, intimacy, and complete unity. Our souls thirst for God and He for us.
“Human fickleness makes a drooping contrast to God’s towering covenant love and faithfulness; human standards, where all is relative, are a marshland beside the exacting, exhilarating mountains of His righteousness.” Derek Kidner.
To understand God’s love in a world that doesn’t even come close to displaying it is truly difficult if not impossible indeed. But through the Holy Spirit – the One Spirit that unites us into One Body, the Church, the Bride – we can experience these mysteries that bring us to knowledge. “No one has ever seen God but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12 NIV.
It is by the will of God that He has made us holy and faithful and given us His peace and His grace. This is the generous love of God. Our roots are planted in this God. I need to remind myself every morning that I have every spiritual blessing in Christ, that I am seated with Him at the right hand of the Father. That I call His Father, “Abba” too. And all of this is because He loves us. This is a good Father. This is not a Father to fear. This is a Father to embrace. This is the Father that is also our Mother. If our human parents failed to demonstrate the unconditional love of God, then it can be difficult for us to accept or even picture a love so perfect. But God gave us an imagination. We can sit and imagine what a perfect Father or Mother would be like, using the scripture as our perfect guide. To ponder a love so great is well worth our time.
“The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe His promise to care for them. Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD.” Psalm 106:24 NLT.
Are you entering the pleasant land, believing in this great love?
In addition to this good Father, we are also dearly loved by His Son. His Son is like the perfect big brother to me. He will go to any and all lengths to make sure I look beautiful before our Father – He will teach me, cover for me, protect me, empower me with the Holy Spirit to remain in His love – and He does this without condemnation when I falter, there is no jealousy or envy, no debt for covering me. If we can love without judgment, and like Paul says in Philippians 4:8 “whatever is pure – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” and see only what is pure within each of us, we can experience how God sees us and loves us.
Do we plant our feet into this pure soil? Do we wiggle our toes in delight of it? Do we want to show the world’s powers and authorities the amazing grace and love of God and put out the flames of evil for good? Are we excited to bring glory to God? Do we care less about ourselves and more about His remaining lost sheep?
The value of the gift of salvation is in the desire and perfection of God’s nature. If we could but wrap our heads around that. It is not salvation or eternal life that is so amazing, it is God’s love. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:44-45
“All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 36:7 NLT. Even those who do not know Him are sheltered by His love.
“For Your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.” Psalm 108:4 NLT.
And the journey continues….
Join me In His Words, His Household for further reflection.
(All bolded scripture is for my own emphasis)