October 22nd

God's Love

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him."  1 John 3:1 NIV 

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him"  Psalm 103:13 NIV 

"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him"  Psalm 103:11 NIV 

9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 NIV

If you were to enter Godís throne room right now, what would be the expression on his face when he sees you?  Some people think that God would have the angry father look, shaking his head at them in disappointment.  Others might imagine God unwilling to even look at them because of their sin.  If youíve struggled with such caricatures of God, I have good news for you. 

The Bible shares the refreshing truth that God is no longer angry with those who place their faith in Jesus.  The reason for this is that Jesus bore Godís entire wrath due to us for our sin.  He was the perfect sacrifice for us such that we now have peace with God (Romans 5:1).   We can go to him at any time, in full confidence that we have been reconciled.   

From the sacrifice of Jesus, we can all be assured that God loves us very much.  Having said that, sometimes itís hard for us to grasp such love.  I remember one such struggle I had a few years ago.  I knew God loved me, but was having difficulty feeling and understanding that love in my heart.   As I gently rocked my infant daughter to sleep one evening, I silently asked God to help me understand his love better.  He responded by comparing his love for me to my love for my daughter at that very moment.  I was holding her close as she peacefully slept in my arms and I felt that sweet affection that only a parent knows.  Something clicked in me and I received that revelation of Godís love for me.   

Often our early life experiences can mar our ability to connect with our loving heavenly Father, especially when our earthly parents fell far short of being loving parents.  God, in his great love, wants to heal us from any unhealthy or abusive relationships weíve had.  He wants to help us discover his great love for us and the joys that come with living by his plan. 

If youíve had trouble connecting with God and/or receiving his love, I encourage you to seek him for healing in the areas that have been damaged.  One of the ways through which healing can take place is prayer.  We can invite God into every traumatic memory and ask him to heal the damage that was done.  We can also ask him to restore us to emotional and physical wholeness, such that we can connect with him and fully experience the joy of knowing him.  For more information on healing prayer, please visit our Freedom Journey I study.  

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

ďHeavenly father, thank you for your great love for me.  Thank you for the precious sacrifice you made for my benefit through Jesus.  If I have failed to fully connect with your love, please help me to resolve the root issues involved.  Please reveal any sin that I have yet to confess and repent from, such as unforgiveness.  (pause for a moment of silent prayer and confession)  I pray for healing of any past traumas that damaged my ability to receive from you and to love you.  Thank you, Father!  I am honored to be called your child.  I praise you in Jesusí name, Amen.Ē