God is our Creator; who has given us the color of our eyes, hair, skin, looks, abilities and talents. This in itself is a breathtaking concept to behold, but the wonderful thing about this Creator of ours is that He wanted us to be His children. God has chosen each and every one of us for Himself. He made us all different, so that He could love, appreciate and take delight in each one of us; even as we do in our own children. He made a plan to redeem us (redeem means = bought back by the original owner). He was the original owner of mankind until the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. At that point, Satan, the prince of this world, came taking us as his own by causing mankind to be tempted and falling into that temptation. Then all died spiritually in Adam from that time forth in trespasses and sins. The Holy Spirit left mankind and man was left as if he were a dead man walking. It is not until we get born-again, that the Holy Spirit come into us, filling that empty spot that we have been trying so hard to fill with many different things. But that spot was meant to be filled by only One Person, the Holy Spirit, who then makes us alive unto God (Colossians 2:13).We then are no longer dead. All this was accomplished by Jesus dying for us on the cross, because God, our Father, was willing to give up His own dear Son for our sake; that He might redeem us back, giving us new life in order to make us His own dear children. “Ye are now the children of God” the Bible says in John 1:12. Oh what a wonderful, awesome, indescribable, magnificent and incredible thing our Father has done for us! There is a song written long ago called “Amazing Love” (“how can it be that Thou my God should die for me”. What love He has showered upon us by allowing His only Son to die on our behalf, becoming our Substitute, so that He could take our punishment upon Himself! Would we do that?
We shouldn’t be too critical of the unsaved, because their father is still the prince of this world (Satan) who is the father of lies. They really don’t know any better. Oh how I thank the Lord for His wonderful gift of forgiveness towards us! It says in the Word, “he who has been forgiven much loves much” (Luke 7:47). And I have so much to be forgiven for; therefore I love Him so very much. My stepfather molested me as a girl, but in those days you didn’t tell anyone. I tried one day when I was ten years old to tell my mother what had happened, but she just went hysterical and ran across the street to a neighbors’ house and left me standing there all confused and alone. She was only worried about herself and as she went out of the house her words where, “now I won’t have anyone to grow old with.” So I swore to myself that I would never tell her anything that ever happened to me again!
When I was twelve years old my stepfather approached and molested me again, and continued to do so for about 6 months thereafter. I finally ended up at my grandmother’s house who lived in a different city. But after I got married, I use to have bad dreams and even went to a psychologist, but that didn’t help; they only gave me some tranquilizers to take. Then after I re-dedicated myself to the Lord again at age twenty-one, I realized how much the Lord had forgiven me of, and I could see my poor stepfather in a totally different light. I could take pity on him instead of feeling dislike, because I realized that He did not really know what he was doing, or realize under whose influence he was behaving. His father was still the prince of this world, so how could I expect him to act any differently. Forgiveness came easy then and I could readily, sincerely and forever forgive this man completely. It has been harder to do this with my mother, as I felt devastated by her response, and the fact that she seemed so uncaring about what happened, and didn’t even try to protect me from this man. But I still must forgive her because of what of what our wonderful Father has forgiven me of. Oh how I thank the Lord for His gift of forgiveness towards us, and thus commanding us to forgive others. How can we ever repay Him for what He has done? Well we can’t, but we CAN return His love!
Our precious Father has such a wonderful outcome for us! We have been adopted by Him as His own dear children and have become daughters of the Most High! As children of adoption we have been given the following privileges:
1) Our sins have all been washed away, forever thrown into the sea of forgetfulness (we have been washed and all cleaned up)!
2) We have been given new clothes (robes of righteousness – the righteousness of Christ) exchanging our unrighteousness for His righteousness!
3) We have been given a new nature from which to draw upon instead of our old carnal nature that always wants to do what is against God and His ways. By having this new divine nature living inside of us,(the Holy Spirit now living inside of us) we now have the power to draw upon His divine nature. We are able to choose what is right and pleasing to the Lord, and what is in alignment with His ways.
4) We have been given a new name that is written down in the Book of Life.
5) And finally, we have a new home to go to. This world is only our temporary training ground down here. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house there are many mansions (or dwelling places) and I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Hebrews 11:9-10 tells us that Abraham by, “faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” We are only pilgrims, sojourners (travelers) passing through life on this planet earth, but this is not our home. Paul tells us that “…No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”(I Cor 2:9). Oh dear ones, we have so much to look forward to! This is NOT our home! We are here only for just a short time! It won’t always be like this!
As a result of our hope in Christ, we have so much to be entered into NOW as well. We can function out of the divine nature that the Holy Spirit has put in us. We can allow Him to work that divine nature out experientially in our lives, so that we can touch others who do not know or understand about our blessed Savior and Father who are in heaven.
Our Father is watching over us all the time, until the day we die. He hears our every prayer (and answers them all, in one way or another). He knows us better than we know ourselves and like good parents, He knows what is the very best for us. God makes NO mistakes! He tenderly watches over us and protects us. He guides us and leads us in the ways of truth and righteousness (right living) through the work of the Holy Spirit inside us. Sometimes, as a good Father, He has to correct us – like a teacher who marks the incorrect answers on our test sheet in order to show us what is wrong, so that we can get it right. So it is with our Father. Sometimes He has to deal with us in our lives in various ways until we get it right. God does that so we don’t make the same wrong decisions again, but instead learn to make the right decisions that will ultimately lead to our fulfillment and happiness. It seldom feels good going through correction, but in the end we are glad that we went through our correction because it “yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness” and makes us to become more like Jesus.
SO HOW CAN WE RETURN GOD’S LOVE?
Our Father loves to have fellowship and communion with His children, just as we enjoy having fellowship and communion with our children. He told us to “drawn nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you” (James 4:8), and “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps 37:4). Of course we realize that He is not a Santa Claus who give us whatever we want, but as we draw closer and closer to Him, our desires become more in line with what is right and good to ask for and desire, and He is able to grant them. He is so delighted when we talk to Him throughout the day, either by praising Him, talking verbally to Him about the situation we are going through, singing to Him (either in songs we just make up or singing a know song), as He doesn’t really care which; God is delighting in the fact that you are loving Him from your heart and are giving Him your time and attention, that He so richly deserves from us all. We can exercise this communion with Him even when we are sweeping the kitchen floor, washing clothes or driving the car.
I pray to the Lord all throughout the day, even asking the Lord for the simplest of things sometimes. I pray for a space between cars when I need to pull out into traffic, and for a parking place in a crowed parking lot. I also ask for help when we lose things likes keys, glasses, purses, credit cards or whatever, and I find that my precious Lord (because there is nothing impossible with God. He delights to answer the prayers of His children. Then my heart is raised up in praise, adoration, love and thanksgiving to Him for His answer and I say, “Oh thank you my Father for loving me so much and showing me that you are right here with me.” He says in His Word, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb 13:5). That means He is right there with you ALL the time! He sees every tear drop, knows every motive we have, He understands when we are misunderstood, comforts us when we are hurting or are in pain, and loves us so very dearly. What a privilege we have to be His daughters! Daughters of the Most High God! What a privilege to love Him in return because He “first loved us.” He is truly to be adored, loved, worshipped and appreciated from our hearts, and our lives are to be lived in such a manner as to give Him honor!
We are instructed in the greatest commandment of all, “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37), and our neighbor as ourselves”. I like to think of these things like this:
1) Heart = our emotions. Loving Him with passion. Hearts filled with the feeling of love and deep appreciation to Him for: having been chosen by Him, for giving us His own dear Son, for taking care of us, for giving us purpose and abilities, and in the end for having a heavenly home to look forward to as our blessed hope. How much emotion can all this stir up in us?
2) Soul – I like to think that the soul means that part of us which gets saved, changed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. That which is our character, our likes and dislikes, our preferences, our God given abilities and talents making us who we are. That part of us which is taken up to heaven by the Holy Spirit when we breathe our last breath down here on earth.
3) Strength = that which we Do with our energy. It should be used to glorify God in some way. What we DO, which requires our action and strength to accomplish the task.
4) And finally, our Mind = that which we think about. What we allow to be processed into our mind for good or for evil. There are so many thoughts today clamoring to enter into our minds to either corrupt our minds or to enhance our minds for good. For example: TV shows which can cause bad words to come into our minds if we hear them repeatedly. Lust can be created in a person’s mind after seeing lustful movies or TV shows. Rationalizations are created in our minds and become excuses for us to sin because of what we have been exposed to and have allowed to creep into our minds because of what we have been watching. The world says “it’s ok” and we begin to rationalize (believe rational lies) in our minds as to why we can do the same things. For example the world preaches that divorce, lying, cheating, and many other things are “OK”). The Bible says in 2 Cor 10:5 to, “bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” We must protect our mind from these influences, and protect our families from these influences as well. God is depending on us to protect the hearts and minds of our children, so their hearts do not become corrupted by worldly influences. We must protect our minds because if the mind accepts something and digests it, then it goes down into our hearts (and become a part of us). Then what is in the heart eventually comes out in words or actions in our lives. “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt 12:34).
I don’t know where exactly to put the next two things that show God our love for Him. However, these two things are probably the most important of all to Him. They are continually spoken of in the Word as being something that He requires from us as true disciples. If we love Him, we will TRUST HIM completely in every aspect of our lives, and OBEY His Word. If we do these two things consistently, and these become part of our lives, then all the other things will fall into place. I will write on Obedience and Trust some other time.
Our Father is a loving Father who understands us completely and cares for us with an undying love! He even has rewards waiting for us when we do well (sometimes these rewards occur in this world and sometimes God holds them until the next).
With all these things in mind, He should be the One we awaken to in the morning before we get out of bed, telling Him that we love Him and want to live this day to please Him. After all, He is the only One who can help us through our day, our difficulties giving us help in the midst of them all. Nightly, we should make it our final thing that we do, to tell Him “Thank You My Father for helping me today. I love you so much. Good night!”