How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
Click the above link and listen while you read?
..So yesterday I was reading in John as the sun peeked up over the hills out my living room window… My coffee was in hand, and my littlest was doing a decent job of sitting quietly with a book. I opened to John 14, where Jesus says these words in verse 23.
“…If a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him.”
My Father will love him.
I looked up the meaning of love here and the word is agapao.
To take pleasure in.
To long for.
To regard the welfare of.
To prize above other things.
To be unwilling to abandon or do without.
My heart got swollen with a type of near-disbelief as these words sunk in. God the Father, he takes pleasure in me. He longs for me. He esteems me (Webster’s definition of esteem is respect and admiration). He regards my welfare. He truly cares about me. He prefers me. He prizes me above other things. He was unwilling to abandon me or do without me.
My other children were trickling into the living room as the sun climbed a bit higher and shone soft and bright through my window and on the grass that’s bright green by now. My coffee was cooling, I got another cup and resumed my study amid several conversations with the 4 year old and 9 year old.
Almost breathless, I contemplated what this meant. And how in the world have I missed this all these years? Oh I have always known that He loves me.
Jesus loves me, this I know.
Oh love of God, how rich and pure.
Oh, how He loves you and me…
A love that goes from east to west, and runs as deep as it is wide…
Did the authors of these songs have the same awestruck realization? That this God is a lover? That He is passionately in pursuit of my heart? That as He creates and forms each new life, He does so with such intensity of love that we cannot even begin to imagine the plans He has for us?
Slowly, I realized that this basic truth I had stumbled upon has been shrouded and covered up in my heart as a doctrine. The doctrine of God’s love. It’s been hidden under deflated expectations. The hard things in life. You know, when you know God’s good but life isn’t? And it’s all too easy to mesh the two underneath the idea that if God was good and He loved me then this awful things or that diagnosis or whatever wouldn’t be happening. Oh and then… the other illlusion. That when I’m good, I know he smiles. (And thinks ‘It’s about time‘.) When I’m not, He surely is frowning. Or frustrated. Or maybe indifferent and moving on to pay attention to the other child of His who has a lot better handle on loving their children well, ministering cheerfully to the needy, the one who is sweet and kind to their husband so much more often..
This is outright deception.
The accuser, the Lucifer of condemnation and darkness has blinded the eyes of our understanding. And somehow shone this twisted thinking into our minds in such a way that it’s what looks like true truth.
A God that longs for me? That refuses to abandon me? That prizes me above all else? This is the God that thought of me and chose the cross for His Son. This Abba Daddy God chose nails and lashes and grief and blood and piercing for His precious Son… because He refused to be separated from me.
Oh, my heart. This is why the cross.
He saw me, filled with Him, and even before that, while I wasn’t – He sent Jesus. His Beloved. And longed for me. Longed for me to see. To see Him with arms wide, running as only the Master of the Universe can run towards His daughter…
And planned my destiny while His Son hung broken, ragged skin, eyes glazed in pain. Everything that hangs on a tree is cursed. Jesus became my sin, became my yelling, my anger, my self-lashing, my misunderstanding. He became our murder and pornography and lust and stealing and selfishness and pride.
He became this because He saw the value of who I am and who you are when His holiness is on us and in us. We don’t have to try harder or be better, we simply need to begin to believe that He has filled us. That all that He is, is ours.
His love and righteousness has made us beautiful. He says so.
We aren’t slaves any longer and I’m not interested in the lies that the deceiver has whispered for so long that says who I’m not. This understanding of how God thinks about us is the key to everything. If I know who I am, if I understand my position as a loved and valued and healed and admired daughter, it changes it all. This is who I am now. This is my birthright, adopted into the family of the Most High.
This is a love I haven’t even scratched the surface of. But I’m newly determined. And even in that determination, I know He’s cheering me on, whispering truth and love-words and excited to share more with all of us. He wants us to know.
To see how deep the Father’s love for us.
And how vast beyond all measure.
….The sun’s up now, my children are riding brooms like horses and planning picnics, reading books, carousing like the carefree and loved littles that they are.
We are too, you know? Loved.
And we can become as little children too. And be carefree. Because He’s got this. And He’s got us.
If He’d let His son do what He did for the express reason that He couldn’t abandon me or you, we can run wild and close our eyes. We can know that the future is held and our welfare is secure in the capability of a Creator and a Lover whom in our wildest dreams we can’t fathom the aching depths of His love for us.
That He would give His only Son,
to make a wretch –