Dwight Fletcher | Yes I can : Laying the foundation II
This week, we continue our 'Yes I Can' series about reclaiming our hopes, dreams and aspirations. Yes, I Can is about us getting back to a place of faith in God's ability to help us find love, joy and success in the different areas of our lives.
Last week, we looked at two negative things we have learned about love through our experiences and how that influences our response to God's love. This week, we will explore, in a deeper way, God's love for us by looking at the character and nature of this love.
God's heart towards us is the Father's heart. 2 Corinthians 6:17b-18 (TLB) says, "I will welcome you and be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters."
God's desire, above all else, is to father you, and it is astounding that God would have us call Him father.
But, what does it mean for God to father you?
It means that:
We can get to know Him. It means that we talk with Him and interact with Him. It means that we can relate to Him on a personal and intimate basis. God would have us call Him father because it is a personal term that refers to a personal being with whom we can personally relate.
Father implies family interaction. It implies dependence, because a father is the source of life. It implies love and intimacy. It implies certain roles and responsibilities. A good father is committed to his family. He loves, protects and provides. He lovingly guides, corrects, teaches and instructs his children.
We receive an inheritance; a guarantee that He will not leave us nor forsake us. He gives us His Holy Spirit.
If you do not know God as an intimate, personal Father, you do not really know Him at all.
In addition, there are some fundamental truths about His love that are central to His father's heart that we must commit to our heart and memory. These truths include:
- God's Love is lavish: "How great is the love the Father has lavished on you that you should be called the children of God." 1 John 3:1 (NIV).
He is not a stingy father, but extremely generous in revealing and pouring out His love on you.
- God's love is forever: "I'm absolutely convinced that nothingnothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love ..." Romans 8:39 (MSG).
His love is perpetual, unending, and eternal.
"Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore, with loving kindness I have drawn you." Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV).
GOD'S GREAT JOY
- God's love delights in you: Have you ever considered that you are the delight of the Father's heart? He sees you as the one who can bring Him great joy. "The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV).
In this passage, God told a rebellious people that He actually stands over them singing and rejoicing, just as a mother sings over her children to calm them down.
It's hard to imagine that one heart could hold all the love we would ever need, as no human heart can, no matter how hard we try to make it do so. In fact, when Adam and Eve sinned, God should have destroyed them based on His holy standard, but love prevailed. God made a plan. It was a desperate rescue plan. God, that is Jesus, God the Son would come and die in our place, take on our brokenness, take on the devastation, bear the pain, bear the shame and pay the price for our sin to redeem us to God.
"This is real love - not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." 1 John 4:10 (NLT). In this way, God rescued us from the punishment and consequences of sin. God loves you, but you have to open your heart to love Him back.
Join us again next week as we continue by looking at 'Yes, I Can Dream Again'.