June 2006

On Mother's Day, two of my children came for a visit. My youngest boy sat in my lap, but he is almost too large. He can no longer jump up and wrap his arms and legs around me. It is sad to experience these precious times drawing to a close, but the joy that he and my older children bring me remains such a wonderful blessing.

It's Father's Day

On June 18th, we celebrate Father's Day again, but for me, it's father's day every time I'm with my children. I just hope one day my children can feel like Tiger Woods, who said in a recent interview: "Everyday is father's day with my dad." Don't you hope your children will feel this way about you?

The subject of last year's June view was my Reflections on Dad, in case you missed it. I am thankful for the many childhood memories with my dad. Ideally, the relationship with our Heavenly Father is a reflection of the one we experience with our earthly father. A large percentage of men and women in prison are fatherless. Even worse, some were abused by their fathers. This makes it extremely difficult for them to understand the love of God. As a result, prisoners end up emotionally damaged with much anger and pain, which is often passed on to the next generation.

The Good News is that Jesus has redeemed us from all generational curses. 1 It has been difficult for my children to grow up not having their father at home. But the grace of God [the power of love] has overcome the void of a missing father. Because of the blood of Christ and His resurrection, we have the power of the Holy Spirit working mightily in us.

His Divine Love

Our Heavenly Father is a father to the fatherless. 2 It is the divine love of God flowing from His holy habitation through our lives that provides the ability to bring forth healthy children. He sends forth His love through the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, the knowledge and reverence of the Lord and His righteousness into all the earth. 3

God's divine love flows only through those who are born again. God is not a respecter of persons. The way to receive His divine love is through Christ's finished work on the cross. There are two Greek words in the New Testament for love: "philos, " which is natural human affections, which all men have, and "agape," which is divine love, the feelings and character of God.

Christian author, George D. Watson (no earthly relation), in his writing "Our Own God," said: "Just as we get human affection by our natural birth, so we get the divine love by our spiritual birth into the Kingdom of God. Even after divine love has been imparted to us, we need to be sanctified and baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire, in order to give this divine love perfect liberty and ample sweep through all our capacities."

Growing In Love

Every one who loves "agape" is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God -- for God is love. 4 His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Through the knowledge of God's love, we are called to excellence. We have great and precious promises from God's Word. They tell us that we now share God's divine nature, love and character, because of the Holy Spirit living within us. 5

The secret of Christian living is to have a conscience awareness of God's love for us and His abiding presence. To love God means to want to be with Him. This takes growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ by spending time with Him. 6This happens as we make every effort to apply the benefits of God's promises to our life. Then our faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control, which leads to patient endurance and godliness. 7

Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, it is unlikely you will ever stumble or fall away. God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 8

The Power Of Love

Is there any doubt that it is the power of God's love that heals us? Certainly not to those who believe and act upon the promises of God's word. One promise says: The Lamb, Jesus Christ was slain for our sins from the foundation of the world. 9 Long ago, even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself though Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure. 10

It is easy to see the evil nature of my past life. The Law of God demonstrates that all of us follow the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born into this nature because of Adam and Eve's fall. We are under God's righteous judgment, but God is also rich in mercy. He loves us so very much, that even while we are spiritually dead because of our sin nature, He gives us life by having raised Christ from the dead. He raised us from the dead along with Christ. We are seated with Him in the heavenly realms -- all because of our union with Christ Jesus. 11

Now, God can point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of His favor and kindness toward us. God saved you by His special favor when you believed in Christ. You can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. 12

A Prayer For You ...

I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. May you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great we can never fully understand it. May you be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Amen. 13

Footnotes:

1) 1 Pet. 1:18-21
2) Psa. 68:5
3) Isa. 11:1-5 Rev. 4:5, 5:6
4) 1 Jn. 4:7
5) 2 Pet. 1:2-4
6) 2 Pet. 3:18
7) 2 Pet. 1: 5, 6
8) 2 Pet. 7, 8, 10, 11
9) Rev. 13:8
10) Eph. 1:4, 5
11) Eph. 2: 3-6
12) Eph. 2: 7-10
13) Eph. 3:17-19

Print