A 14 Day Meditation on the Love of God
God Gave His Son–
Then He Made You His Son
The Kind of Love the Father Has
Father we thank you
For being more than creator
More than redeemer
More than sustainer
We thank you
Today let us know
what it is like
to curl up in your arms
And hold your hand.
Scripture Reading–Acts 17:26-27
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appearswe shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
All Christians have heard that God loves them, and God does!
But no all people experience God’s love in the same way. Our “love languages’ are different.
Sometimes people experience God’s directly and emotionally. Then, it feels like a warm blanket of assurance and comfort.
Other times, God’s love is not felt directly, but we are aware of it nevertheless. Our knowledge of His overarching love sustains us even when we cannot feel it. In the times when we do not experience emotionally, our intellectual faith is enough.
Still other times, His love is experienced in the joy of life. Every pleasure, every joy we have in life is ours because of his overarching love. Satan cannot create pleasure, he can only distort or suppress them. The ability to experience pleasure comes from Him. In the joy of life, we are experiencing God’s joy indirectly.
The greatest joy of all comes to us when we realize that God really is not only our heavenly Father, but our “Daddy” as well. Just as we experience the greatest joy in life from the love and acceptance of others, the greatest heavenly joy comes from knowing that God is our Daddy and He loves and accepts us.
Experiencing the love and acceptance of God is a transformative experience. The more we experience it, the more we become like Him. God wants to make us into His image not by forcing us into some mold or mask, but by inner transformation through out experience of him.
Have you even noticed how who live together for a lifetime start to act and think alike? This transformation happens not by design, but by mutual attraction. We become like what we value. The more time we live with Christ, the more we will become like Christ. We start to think, feel and act like Him, without even thinking about it. The more and more deeply we experience that love, the more it takes root in our lives, and we become like Him.
Martin Luther is credited with being the beginning of the Protestant Reformation and a great hero of the faith. But he was not always so sure of his place before God.
After a dramatic encounter in a thunderstorm with God, Luther devoted himself to the church. He became a monk and a scholar. He threw himself wholeheartedly into seeking God’s favor, enduring all manner of fasting and self-flagellation in order to win God’s love. He went to confession so much that his confessor urged him to stay away!
One day, while going throgh the book of Romans, he came across a single line “The just shall live by faith.” It dawned on Luther that God did not seek our sacrifices, but simple trust in Him.
This insight changed his life and set him free from a life of being God’s servant, and gave him instead the assurance that he was God’s child.
“Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Then I graspet that the of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise.”
Today’s Exercise–Getting to know your Father
Take a piece of paper and write these words “God is_________ .” Now as quickly as you can, write down as many ways you can fill in this blank to tell what God is to you. Make this personal. Don’t include generalities such as “God is all loving” or “God is Sovereign.” Instead say “God is loving to me,” or “God is my sovereign.” The point of this exercise is to focus on your personal image of God in relationship to you. This is not a head exercise but a heart exercise. Write down what comes into your head, even if it doesn’t seem theologically “proper.” Once you have done, look back over your list. What does it teach you about your working image of God? Do you mainly see Him as loving or judgmental, caring or condemning? Now take this list to God in prayer, and ask God to expand your horizons.
Closing Worship Songs
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.