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The Father's Love

John 15:9-11

9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you…” I can only imagine what these words meant to the disciples as they poured from the mouth of their beloved Jesus into their listening ears. And I can only imagine the questions that must have begun to swirl in their minds at such a confession!

“He loves me like the Father loves Him? How is that possible?”

“What does that kind of love even look like?”

“How could He ever think me worthy of such affection?”

Abide in My love,” Jesus continued. “Abide – “lodge yourself in, remain in, and don’t depart from”- the love that I have for you.” Why? “…that your joy may be full.”

This love that the apostle John would later describe as a different kind – “category and type” – of love than any He had ever known before was the very source of complete and abundant joy, the very thing our human hearts long for and hope to find (1 John 3:1). And it was theirs. I often wonder how the disciples responded to this revelation.

Of my fourteen children, ten are adopted. I am often asked, “Which ones are actually yours?”

“All of them,” I will respond without hesitation.

“I know that, but which ones did you mother?”

“All of them,” I will repeat.

“But they aren’t all from you.”

“They are now,” I will smile, refusing to separate my children in categories of “mine” and “not mine.”

The truth is – I often forget that some of them did not come from my womb. I take credit for their good looks and athletic abilities citing a quality “gene pool” on my side of the family. I struggle to remember a time we weren’t all together and when paperwork requires me to count how many adoptions have been finalized in this home over the years, I tend to be off by one or two. When I look at my children, I see…my children and I love them all the same.

This is what Jesus spoke of in John 15, yet on a greater scale. The love that Father God has for His begotten child is very love that we who were given “adoption” through the blood of Jesus are loved with. Do we know that? Do we believe that? Jesus wanted us to!

John 3:16

16 “For God so loved the world,[a]that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 4:9-11

9 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.10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Romans 8:37-39

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,39 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 5:8

8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:16

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

This verse - 1 John 4:16- describes what God desires for each of us – that we would “come to know” and “to believe” the “love that God has for us.”

When my children came to me, they had done nothing to earn my love or prove themselves loveable...and yet...I loved them. Absolutely. Completely. Fully. Whether placed upon my chest in a hospital room or met at CPS building - the moment I saw them, my heart called them "Mine." They didn't have to do anything to make me love them. I just...did.

And I wonder...

Do you know?

Do you understand that your Father loves YOU with an everlasting love - a love that began before your birth and will carry on through eternity?

Have you taken hold of the "love that God has for us?"

Have you received it?

Do you live like you believe it?

My prayer for you today is that you "may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19)."

Your Father loves you!


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