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“How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure that He should give His only son to make a wretch His treasure.” That is one of my favorite lines from the song How Deep The Father’s Love for Us. Fathers think about that for a moment. How much do you love your children? A question like this is hard to fathom, especially for someone who has not yet been blessed with children. I used not to understand the point that parents were making, “You will know when you hold that boy in your arms the first time.” I kept thinking, “Of course I will love my son. He is my baby boy, how could I not love him?” Then November 21st came, and my world changed. The nurse handed my son to me, and my heart melted, tears filled my eyes as I watched God’s perfect creation that I had been blessed to have a part in creating. The love that filled my heart was a love that I did not know was possible to feel. It dawned on me, did God not feel this type of love for His only Son?
The Father’s Love for Us
The Bible tells me that God loves you, and He loves me. How much? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Why did we need this? We were sinners (Romans 5:8). Even in the midst of being the worst of the worst, God still loved us enough to redeem us. It is truly hard for human beings to understand how that can be possible. We hold grudges. When someone does wrong against us, we act as though they are dead. My fascination for the love of the Father is because of the fact that I fall short of that love constantly.
Examples of the Father’s Love
I always need to be looking at the example of God. John wrote: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:7-9) I know that we live imperfect lives trying to serve a perfect God. That can be intimidating. Yet, it should not be.
Think about the Enoch for a moment. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). What result did he receive for being the type of person who followed after the Lord? He did not see death! You might think, “We are all going to die. Preacher, you make that point constantly. Why should we look after Enoch as an example?” Friends, God not only spared Enoch from a life of physical death; He also rewarded him from a life of spiritual death. Enoch lived during a time when the world was starting to become wicked. Think of the mercy God showed Enoch by taking him and keeping him from seeing the flood. We are promised a similar reward (avoiding a spiritual death) if we do what Enoch did. “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. “(Revelation 2:10)
Our Response to the Father’s Love
You and I can avoid a spiritual existence that is consumed by fire (Revelation 20:14). We can live a life forever comforted by Heaven, walking on streets made with pure gold (Revelation 21:21) if we follow the Father. Why again is all of this possible? Because God loves us. How deep the Father’s love for us.
By Michael Clarke
An evangelistic effort of the churches of Christ