Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lessons Learned Part 2: Lessons Learned about my Heavenly Father

I John 3:1
1How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

It is always nice to belong to someone, isn’t it? To have someone say….look at them….they are mine! To have someone say, “That’s my baby! That’s my boy! That my girl! That’s MY man! That’s MY woman!” Or vise versa. It is always nice to have someone to say that about.

When we are believers in Christ we have this privilege. When God watches us and looks upon us, he looks on us and says, “those are my kids”.

At one point in my life I had a pastor who did this prayer exercise where he challenged us to ask God, “God, what do you think of me?” Then he told us to listen for a response.

The pastor told us if we heard stuff that was like “you are worthless” or “I hate you” that this was the devil, who is called the accuser, and to rebuke him. But he also challenged us to listen to what God would say, and if God gave us some mental image to think about that as well.

I don’t always do well at these touchy feely exercises, so it took me a while to slow down enough to hear what God was saying. But when I slowed down this picture came to mind. I was with God in a room, a small living room with white walls and pictures all around. I asked the question. And God said, “I think of you all the time.” And then I looked around. And all around the room there were pictures of me at important and fun moments of my life. And it seemed to me that it was obvious that God was there at every moment those pictures were taken, taking those pictures. Furthermore, I noticed that God loved me so much that it was my pictures that he had on his wall, on his table, near his chair. And the thought of this moved me to tears. Why? Because I knew my Heavenly Father loved me like only a perfect father can. This vision I believe God gave me told the story of what it means to have a Heavenly Father that treasures me as only he can.
When God calls us his child he has given us his name. He has created us to look more like him, to act more like him, to share more and more of our life with him as we grow. He has given us an identity as his child, his heir, a member of his family. People can look at us and say “that is God’s child!” What a privilege!

The moment Karis was born, and I began to hold her in my arms, I knew that no matter what she did, or no matter what happened to her, I could not love her more in that moment, and I could not love her any less than I did in that moment for the rest of my life.

Let me say this again. One of the things I learned very quickly as I gazed into my child’s barely able to focus eyes was that there is nothing that she could ever do that could make me love her any less. Would I want bad things to happen to her? No. Would I want her to rebel and make a lot of bad mistakes? Of course not! But no matter what happens, deep down in my heart, I know my love for her can only grow.

The same is true of our Heavenly Father. There is nothing that we have done, or could do, that would make God love us any less. Does he want us to rebel? No. Does he want us to run away from him? Of course he does not. But if we run away from him or rebel against him, he offers us forgiveness and restoration. He loves us more than we will ever know.

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