Father's Day isn't really a day that brings joy. If you know me well enough, you know I never grew up without my father present. My grandfather was the only father figure I had in my life. I was blessed with six years with him. He passed away in June of 2003.
As I got into middle and high school, at times I got jealous of my friends and other peers whose fathers were present at sporting events, awards days, talent shows, the like. During this time, I often questioned the love God had for me. People say that God has the love of a father, and I'd often question whether God truly cared because of the presence my earthly father had in my life (well, lack thereof).
I share that story to share the message I shared with my family this Father's Day. I stayed home from the church where I am serving because of a recent scare with the coronavirus (more on that and the life update later). I decide to stay home as a precaution and lead worship for my family, as well as bring a message for them. I want to share that message with you all.
The message I shared comes from Psalm 103. I ask that you read it in your own time, but the first point I want all who read this to get out of this message is that God is love. He is the very definition of love. 1 John 4:16 tells us, "So we have come to know and to believe the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in Him (ESV)." What this verse and what the phrase "God is love" means for us is that God wants the very best for us; He always has good intentions for our lives.
God shows His love in our lives in six distinct ways. The first way is spiritually. God sent Jesus to serve as a "bridge", so to say between our sin and Him. Jesus "bridges" this gap so that we can have oneness with the Father. The second way that God shows his love, which ties into the first, is emotionally. By removing our sin and shame through repentance, God brings about healing in our lives. We no longer have to live in shame and remorse because Jesus paid the debt for us on the cross! This doesn't give us permission to freely sin, but it gives us justification when we fall short of His glory.
The third way God shows His love is eternally. Because Jesus paid the debt for us on the cross, we no longer have to face eternal judgement or separation from God. Romans 6:23 tells us, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (ESV)." What this verse tells us is that because of our sin and shame, we deserve death. However, Jesus paid it all on the cross so that we would not have to face that by choosing to follow Him.
The fourth way way God shows His love is authoritatively. Because of our relationship with Jesus, we are crowned with God's love and citizenship on earth and in Heaven. Next, God's love is shown physically. God gives us strength and endurance to face all storms in life. Hebrews 12:1-3 tells us to run the race of life with endurance, looking to Jesus as our founder and perfecter of our fait.
Finally, God's love is shown judicially. What this means is that God's love makes judgement calls. Essentially, He gives us the ability to discern what is good and evil. This can be considered the gift of discernment, which Paul discusses when he talks about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12.
Because of these attributes, we are pointed to three truths we know about God's love. The first truth is that God's love is all consuming. What this means is that His love touches every aspect of our lives. There is no anxiety, failure, success, or anything else that escapes God's love. God's love covered my family's situation and brush with the coronavirus this past week; even though we have no idea what God was trying to do in the midst of the situation, He showed His love nonetheless.
The second truth is God's love is personal. Because God is a being, He knows and is capable of love/ We matter to Him, so much so that He sent to Jesus to the cross to bridge the gap between us and Him. Think about it like this: If you were the only person to ever walk the earth, God still loved you so much that He sent Jesus to die for you! Another way to think of it is by subbing your name into John 3:16, the most well-known verse in Scripture.
The final truth we see about God's love is that it is beyond our comprehension. This means that we cannot fathom the love God has for us because, as His children, we wrong Him, yet He still chases us with reckless abandon. I'm currently going through a devotion on the song "Reckless Love", and in it, Cory Asbury, the writer of the song, says a friend of his says that God loving us was not what one would call a wise investment. We fall short of His glory and wrong Him daily, but He still chooses love us. He loves us so much that He would leave the 99 to chase after us.
To wrap up. I want to leave you with one major point. God is the perfect image of how a father should be and how a father should love. We see so many examples of the Father's love daily. We can see the Father's love just by waking us up every morning.
I also want to leave with a major point of advice. Don't let the image of your earthly father distort the image of your Heavenly Father. What I mean by this is, even though your earthly father may be absent, abusive, unloving, or any other negative adjective, God is love. God is the perfect image of what a father should look like and how a father should love. He loves you even when your earthly father does not.
For so long, I let the image of my earthly father distort my image of the Heavenly Father. I failed to see the love God has for me. Now that I see it, I am so thankful that He shows me love. Maybe my story can help someone who is walking in the similar season of life. Know that your Heavenly Father loves you!