The Father's Love for Us

By Terry Wardle

February 21, 2011

Imagine something with me for a moment. You are looking in on the interaction between a father and his two sons. They are both the same age, one a son by birth, the other a son by adoption. As you watch the interaction you notice that the father treats the two sons quite differently. Toward his birth son, he is lavish with love, cherishing, always welcoming and encouraging. He is a generous father who goes out of his way to provide everything this son needs. As a result, this son moves toward the father with confidence that he will always be received, protected, and loved.

But the father’s actions toward the other son are quite different. He provides the basic essentials of life for him for sure. He gives him food, clothes and shelter, and when necessary extends time to the son. But it is clear that he is not “really” a son, just adopted. There is little that is lavish and secure about the relationship, and the son knows well that his behavior vitally determines the way the father responds to him. And so, knowing that he is “just” adopted, he is cautious and insecure about any and all interactions he has with the father.

Why this image? Because I believe many Christians see themselves as the adopted child, tolerated but not cherished by the Father. And that is so untrue. Jesus told us that the love God has for Jesus is in fact the love he has for us. Imagine how the Father is with Jesus. Lavish. Cherishing. Generous. Welcoming. Delighting. Now remember, because of Christ, that is precisely the way the Father feels about you. Think about that for a while. It may change your life!

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