The Love of the Father
Whenever I look on Facebook, there always seem to be people having babies. Little humans are popping out everywhere!
There’s Martha, Ally, Callum, Zara, Ashton, Millicent, Florence and so many more, and I love what their new parents write about them: “We love her so much already”; “Our hearts are filled with love”; “She’s perfect”; “We are overwhelmed with love for our precious new gift”.
Even the toughest of guys melt into a mushy bubble of misty-eyed goo when they look into the eyes of the little bundle in their arms. They are completely undone.
Jesus knew how much children would touch their parents’ hearts because in trying to describe His Father’s love for us, he effectively says, ‘Look, you know how much you love your kids and want to do what’s best for them. Well, God loves you even more than that and He wants to take care of you even more’. Here’s how Jesus said it: “Which of you if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matt 7: 9 – 11)
Apart from this verse, how else might we know that the Father loves us?
First, the Bible tells us he made us to be his children. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” – 1 John 3: 1
I heard a story about a family with adopted children reaching the time and stage when the kids were starting to make enquiries about their biological parents. Among the many questions they asked they wanted to know why their ‘new’ mother and father had adopted them. Without skipping a beat, dad replied, “when parents have children the natural way, they are grateful for what they are given, but with us, we were even more grateful because we could choose you”.
God the Father has chosen you to be His child.
Second, God the Father will go to great lengths to draw you to himself. He won’t sin or compromise His will, but look at this story: “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish” (Matt 18: 12 – 14)
The Father leaves the other sheep where they will be safe and provided for, and then pursues the one who has wandered off – just as he keeps reaching out to us when we wander off. God the Father doesn’t leave us – He may be silent sometimes – but He searches for us, always available, always loving, always holding out His hand.
And lastly, the Father gives us His Holy Spirit.
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.” John 14: 15 – 17a
He pours out His most precious gift on you and on me. Why? Because He knows how to give good gifts to those He loves.
How do we know the Father loves us? He gives good gifts to us, He calls us His children, He searches for us when we wander off and He gives us His Holy Spirit.
Suggested prayer: Thank God for His love for you. Thank Him that He has chosen you and thank Him that you are His child. Thank Him for His faithfulness, even at times when you wander off. Ask Him to fill you again with His Holy Spirit and then bring all your needs to Him.