Father's love'


Sunday Reflection


18th April 2021

...need to be loved...

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

.... 1 John 3:1

An unusual survey was done a few years ago,
Participants in the survey were asked
this question;
'What 3 word sentence would you
most like to hear or have said to you?'

The top three answers pretty much
sum up the needs of all of mankind.

1. I love you.....
2. I forgive you.......
3. Dinner's ready.

Doesn't that pretty much sum up our needs.
We have emotional, physical,
and most importantly spiritual needs.
We need to be loved, forgiven,
and we need provision.

God meets everyone of these needs.
In fact, he meets all of these needs
because of one primary thing,
and that is the fact -
the eternal, unconditional fact;
that He loves us.
This is the incredible love of God.

The letters of John are warm and personal,
reflecting the character of this apostle,
who was now probably in his eighties.
Some call them 'fatherly letters',
but given his age, 'grandfatherly'
might be a more appropriate description.

There is a story about John in his old age
which we know from church records.
It reveals John's balance of truth and love.
He stood firmly for the truth,
refusing to compromise,
especially concerning the Person of Christ;
but at the same time he was
the most loving old man.

An early church writer, Jerome,
tells the story about John from the AD90s;
by this time John was very old,
and used to be carried into church
every week on a chair with poles through it.

The church members would often ask him to speak.
He would sit in the chair at the front
and he'd just say,
'Little children, love one another!'

The next Sunday they carried him into
church and ask if he had a word for them.
'Yes,' he'd say, 'I've got a word for you today.'
They carried the chair to the front and he said,
'Little children, love one another!'

The following Sunday they brought him in
and exactly the same thing happened.
They began to think he was getting senile.
Didn't he realize that he kept
repeating the same words?

They finally went to the old man and said,
'Master, why do you always say,
"Little children, love one another"?'
He said:
'Because it is the Lord's command,
and if this only is done,
it is enough.'

When a child is your own,
you love them so deeply.
You seem to love them in spite
of their faults,
in spite of their irritations,
in spite of their problems.
You love them.

And so it is with God our heavenly Father.
We are God's little children.
We are his, we belong to him,
and by calling us his little children,
he reveals the patient and intense
love that God has for us,
because God loves his children just
like a parent loves his or her own
children in a way that another parent
cannot love them.

See the great love the father has for us...
in that he calls us his little children;
so John teaches; so Jesus teaches.
And this theme which is repeated again
and again and again in John.
Those who do what is right,
and love their brothers and sisters
are those who demonstrate
they are children of God.

Remember the image of the Father,
in the story of the Prodigal Son,
running out of his house down the
dusty road to throw His arms around
his long-Lost Son?
This is the Father's undeserved love
for His children.

And it's His love that makes us fit
to enter the kingdom of God.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'How deep the Father's love for us'
sung by Stuart Townend
(with lyrics)'
via the link shown below.