Monday, June 22, 2009

Our Heavenly Father's Love

by Bruce Mills

Yesterday was Father's Day. I had the privilege of having lunch together with my wife, two sons, my daughter-in-law, and my father-in-law. We had my favorite cuisine (barbeque) and they gave me a really great home weather station so I can feed my love for accurate, up-to-the-moment, weather data. And later in the day, I called my dad who lives about three hours away and had a nice long chat with him. So it was a great Father's Day.

But as great as it is to be a human father and to have a loving earthly father, it is even greater to know that, as believers, we have a heavenly Father who loves His children with an infinite and eternal love. There is never a reason for the true Christian to be concerned about the possibility of His heavenly Father deserting him, disowning him, or rejecting him. God's love for His children flows out of His character which is, according to 1 John 4:16, love. And because He is unchangeable, He will never turn his back on His children. In Romans 8:35, the apostle Paul asks the question, "Who will separate us from the love of Christ?" And then he answers his own question in verses 38-39: "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

This means that those who teach that a believer can lose his salvation must find a way to get around this text. So they often say, "Well, God's love for us doesn't change, but our love for Him may change and because of our own sin, we may lose our salvation." Such a view is a slap in God's face, because it makes man the one in control of his salvation rather than God. In other words, they say God is incapable of keeping those who are His children. That viewpoint doesn't seem to agree with Jesus' statement in John 10:28 that "no one will snatch them out of My hand." If no one can "snatch" them out of His hand, why would they think that they could "jump" out of His hand? It boils down to a lack of belief in God's omnipotence and a lack of faith that He will keep His word. That is most certainly a low view of God, His nature, and His attributes.

But that is not the heavenly Father who is described in Scripture. The Bible describes God as being eternally faithful to His promise to keep His children safe and secure in His love. It is a great comfort to know that the character of our God is such that He will never allow any of His children to be lost. And like any good father, He disciplines those of His children who disobey Him (cf. Heb. 12:5-11). But even then, He does so with the intended purpose of bringing about the peaceable fruit of righteousness in their lives.

So, as wonderful as it is to have a human father who loves you, there is greater comfort in having an eternal heavenly Father who promises to love you forever. I pray that you have experienced the joy of knowing Him and His love.

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