The Father’s Love
Holy Trinity Series
God is Love.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not
love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the
world, so that we might live through Him.
1 John 4:7-9 ESV
A definition of love that I go by for living the Christian life is this:
Love is to see the need of another and then do whatever is in your power to satisfy that need – as led by Holy Spirit, or according to Scripture, or conscience.
There are reasons for the qualifier at the end of that statement.
- I do not want to move out of God’s will for me or another
- Like loving a child, jumping in to resolve something for someone else is not always the correct thing to do
That qualifier may not be used an excuse to not show love. I cannot simply say that I do not know of a Scripture for that specific situation, and I cannot say, “Well, I don’t feel led by the Spirit.” There is not only sin of commission, that which we actively do, there is also sin of omission, that which we fail to do when we know the right thing to do.
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
James 4:17 ESV
That said, we need to accept that God is love. He created us, He cares for us, He desires to have a relationship with us. He has our best interest at heart. He knows our true needs. Sometimes we confuse our needs with our wants, or our personal desires.
Though it is difficult for us to grasp, the Father has sacrificed on our behalf. The picture of this was with Abraham and Isaac in the book of Genesis. The story is in Chapter 22. God tested Abraham, instructing him to offer his son as a sacrifice.
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac,
whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Genesis 22:1-2 ESV
Spoiler Alert! Though Abraham was not required to follow through in sacrificing his son, the story is a picture, or foreshadowing, of the Father giving the Son as a sacrifice for our sake.
One function of Scripture is to give us an example to live by: living holy lives, and warning against sinfulness. Paul writes of this in his first letter to the believers at Corinth as he describes the Israelites time in the wilderness.
Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has
1 Corinthians 10:6, 11 ESV
It may be difficult for us to wrap our head around the suffering of God, but the story of Abraham allows us to put ourselves in his place as he is asked by God to give up his only son. We can feel the anguish of considering such a thing, and then imagine actually following through on the act. Some of the similarities of the two events, specifically Isaac and Jesus, are:
- Birth Prophesied: Genesis 17:16; Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:31
- Miracle Births: Genesis 17:17, 18:10-15, 21:1-2; Luke 1:30-35
- The Son of the Father: Genesis 22:1-13; John 1:14, 18
- Son of Promise: Acts 13:32-33, Galatians 4:22-26
- Willing Submission: Genesis 22:6-9; Luke 22:42
- Carrying the Wood: Genesis22:6; John 19:17
- Being Bound: Genesis 22:9; Matthew 27:2
- Moriah, the Mountain: Genesis 22:2, 2 Corinthians 3:1; John 19:17-18
This means of deliverance, giving the Son, was this ultimate act of love for us by the Father. Why did the Father do this? Because of His love for us. God desires to have a loving relationship with us.
Because of His love for us, the Father sent His only Son to redeem us.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 ESV
The apostle John reiterates this in his first epistle. He states that this act shows us the love of God.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.
1 John 4:9 ESV
John also says we see God’s love in the fact that we are able to be identified as His children.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does
not know us is that it did not know Him.
1 John 3:1 ESV
This is confirmed as we see that the Father chooses to adopt us, giving those who choose to enter that relationship with Him the right to become children of God.
But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of
the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12-13 ESV
The very point of this being a Father-child relationship shows the depth of love the Father desires to give us, as well as the depth of His desire to have a loving relationship with us.
We aren’t simply worker bees for God on the earth. We are no longer simply servants. Jesus invites us into a deeper personal relationship with God.
“You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is
doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose
you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My
name, He may give it to you.”
John 15:14-16 ESV
And what are the primary things Jesus commanded us to do?
- To love God
- To love one another
- To share the good news with others
According to the above verse 14, we are friends of Jesus if we do these things. We have the honor of having been chosen by God to enter into a personal relationship with Him. Because of the Father’s great love for us, we are invited to, and enabled to, co-labor with Him in the kingdom of God.
Jesus often pointed to that love in His examples to His disciples. He teaches of our value to the Father.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of
more value than they?”
Matthew 6:26 ESV
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your
head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Matthew 10:29-31 ESV
Though the prophet Jeremiah was writing this word from God to the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem, I believe He has this same concern and care for us.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
He also conveys God’s desire to be in relationship with us.
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your
Jeremiah 29:12-13 ESV
Review episode 30 of the podcast, Who God Says He Is. Each name attributed to God has a meaning and is what God wants to be to His children. All of the attributes are good, and have our best interest at the heart of them, for God is love and He does love us.
Paul tells us we cannot be separated from the love of God. In his letter to the believers at Rome, he first asks the question.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or
Romans 8:35 ESV
He then provides the answer to that question.
No, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor
rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to
separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 ESV
He lists all areas of concern, and none of them, Paul says, can separate us from the love of God.
- Things Physical: death or life
- Things Spiritual: angels or rulers
- Time and Timing: things present or things to come
- Authorities: powers
- Magnitude, Physical or Perceived: height or depth
And in case one could come up with something that does not fall into those categories, he adds, “nor anything else in all creation.”
So who are we to claim that God cannot love us? Short of blaspheming Holy Spirit, as we discovered in the previous lesson, all sins can be forgiven according to the words of Christ. God has stacked things in our favor if we will only humble ourselves and listen to Him.
As the prophet Jeremiah wrote, God has plans for our welfare giving us a future and hope. God invites us to come to Him. Nothing can separate us from the love God has for us. He offers forgiveness to us for our sin. He values us and desires to have a loving relationship with us.
Whether we operate in false humility, or in arrogance and pride, and believe He cannot love us, or He cannot forgive something we’ve done, we are effectively calling God a liar. Meditate on that for a few minutes.
Paul, the apostle, writing to Titus says “which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” referring to eternal life. But Paul says that God never lies. He also refers to the faithfulness of God in his letter to the believers at Rome.
What if some are unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one
were a liar,
Romans 3:3-4a ESV
As followers of Christ, we need to begin with believing the Word of God is true; both the Scriptures and Christ Jesus. If everything around us contradicts the Word, will we stick with the Word, or flow with the world?
What is it that Paul told Titus that God promised before the ages began? Eternal life. God had a plan for our redemption and a relationship with Him before the creation took place. He accounted for everything that would attempt to steal us from Him. Jesus is the way through whom we come unto the Father.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 ESV
Remember this, in Jesus’ words:
- Jesus is the way
- Jesus is the means of our salvation
- Jesus is the truth
- Jesus is the true Word of God
- Jesus is the life
- Jesus is the one who provides eternal life
- Only through Jesus are we able to enter into a loving relationship with the Father.
God set up the plan for our salvation and a relationship with the Father before the ages began. That plan was Jesus, and still is Jesus.
Read Psalms 139 and meditate on the majesty of God. David reflects on God’s knowledge, His presence, and the wonder of His creation of man. God even has a book written for us from before our days even began. My suspicion is that the book is God’s desires for us and the perfect plan for our lives. Through our sinfulness we have strayed from the perfect plan, however, I believe He continuously nudges us back on track if we will listen and walk in obedience in love. Of course our lives would be most rewarding walking out that perfect plan He has for us.
For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately
woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that
were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Psalms 139:13-16 ESV
David establishes here that God is our creator, even when we were yet unseen.
- God formed our inward parts
- God knitted us together in the womb
- We were intricately woven together in secret
Then David mentions the book of our days. Every one of the days that were fashioned for us have been written in God’s book and David says this took place before any of those days existed.
A lot took place before creation, the point being, the love of God was so great for us that He worked all things out in our favor before we were created. Paul reiterates this in one of his letters.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 ESV
It is God who chose us. He called us to His Son to receive the salvation and eternal life that He prepared for us. Again, it is all due to His love for us.
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you
who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray Him.) And He
said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to him by the Father.”
John 6:44, 63-65 ESV
The Father draws us to Jesus Christ to experience the gift of salvation. Through receiving that gift, by believing that Jesus is the Son and surrendering our lives to Him, we gain access to the Father.
There are a lot of scriptures here and many, many more that we need to meditate upon. This is where we ask Holy Spirit to give us knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and revelation, so we can receive this into our spirits by faith and come to know the love of the Father.