If you want to think about incredibly deep love, it’s hard to do better than parental love. Most parents who are not caught up in addiction or extreme self-centeredness will ascribe deep, deep love for their sons and daughters. It’s only natural and right. And with this in mind, we probably don’t make enough of the fact that God calls us…His children. The Apostle John states that it is this kind of love which is gloriously high and wonderful:
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; 1 John 3:1 (ESV)
John says, “Do you want to know what kind of love the Father has for you? It’s like the love your parents have for you, or the love you have for your children…it’s that kind of love.” J.I. Packer writes well about this in his classic Knowing God…
In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship—he establishes us as his children and heirs. Closeness, affection and generosity are at the heart of the relationship. To be right with God the Judge [justification] is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father [adoption] is greater.
J.I. Packer, Knowing God
The Lord wants us to understand His love, for it is this love that compels us to live for Christ and His Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:14). So, how do we come to understand this love? Well, first, we need to put our imaginations to work and with God’s help, try to understand His overwhelming love for us. To do this, we can spend time meditating on the ones we love, recognizing that God’s love for us is far greater than our love for those nearest and dearest to us.
But there is another thing we need to do: You see, we are mistaken if we assume that Christians automatically have an understanding of God’s love, because the Apostle Paul didn’t subscribe to this idea. We know this because the Apostle made the comprehension of God’s love a focus of his prayers for the Christians at Ephesus, giving us a model prayer that I often pray for myself, my family, and our church. As you read, notice Who He prays to…The Father:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith– that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 (ESV)
For Wednesday, November 24th: 1 John 4