A Father's Love
My first child was born on June 1. However, it wasn’t the day I became a father—that day happened 38 weeks prior. I love him so much, and I didn’t start loving him the day he was born but, rather, long before—long before his crying kept me up at night, long before he spit up on me, long before I had to deal with his dirty diapers, long before he would do something that would endanger himself and cause me to worry, and long before he would even be grown enough to do something to disappoint or dishonor me. You know, this is like the love of God our Father, isn’t it?
Have you ever talked negatively about yourself? Of course you have—we all have. We have said things to ourselves like “I was so naïve to trust that person and now I feel stupid.” or “I’ve let myself go and now my body isn’t attractive to anyone.” or “If anyone ever knew I struggled with this they wouldn’t accept me.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? What’s something you are currently questioning about your self-worth? You see, speaking negatively about ourselves typically stems from two places: (1) misjudgments, mistakes, and sins that Satan likes to throw back in our face, and (2) someone of influence from our lives whom we can vividly see in our minds shaking their heads at what we do or who we are. What are those things from your life that keep haunting you and make you feel irrevocably broken? Who are those people, even those you haven’t had contact with in a long time, that you hear voicing their condemnation?
The Lord wants us to clearly see the brokenness in our lives. However, our God is one who does not condemn his children—he is faithful in his love for us despite our faults. As Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:3-14, the love of God is one that supersedes the boundaries of time itself as he set his love upon us before the foundations of the world and will continue to lavish his love upon us for eternity—he didn’t start loving us the day we were born. So this begs the question: if God loved you long before he had to deal with your dirty sins, long before you did something that endangered your soul, long before you disappointed or dishonored him, and long before even time began, then why do you tear yourself down? You were fearfully and wonderfully made and the Lord cares for you as a loving Father! If there is any doubt in your mind, look no further than the cross of Jesus, for it is there that God the Father gave up his Son so that you and I might be called sons and daughters of the King.
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