Fatherly Love

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love” (Micah 7:18).

Fathers and mothers are distinct from one another, and differences regularly become clear in the discipline of children. A mother will often operate with flexibility in her expectations, but a father will usually demand immediate compliance. A mother may go until her emotional stamina can handle no more, but a father can regularly distribute discipline without much emotion at all.

Both fathers and mothers exemplify greater realities, reflecting characteristics of God Himself (even if imperfectly and sometimes abhorrently). God is like a cosmic parent, and all humans are like His children. Just as children with an earthly father, disobedient and defiant people are liable to God’s anger and wrath. What a heavy thought to consider… Your heavenly Father sees every disobedient thought, word, and deed!

Ah, but the beautiful and profound message of the Gospel is that God does not retain His anger forever. In fact, He delights in steadfast love! Through and because of Jesus Christ, God loves disobedient children. While disobedience requires punishment, God has fixed His wrath-filled gaze upon Christ in the place of those who trust in Him!

The great news is this: God is not a vindictive judge; He is a gracious Father who delights in steadfast love. He pardons sins and forgives disobedience, and He gladly gives a divine inheritance to all those in Christ.

Real Love Endures

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1).

This verse begins Psalm 136, the psalm in which God’s steadfast love is extolled more than any other place in Scripture. Every single verse of this psalm, twenty-six in all, praises the steadfast love of God. God’s love is steadfast and enduring, so it is worthy of this kind of emphasis.

When we think about love, we may or may not think of it as lasting. Sometimes we may think and act like love is merely a feeling that may change with circumstance or time. We may have been loved by others who did not continue in their love. We may even have been betrayed by those we thought truly loved us.

Real love, however, is defined by its staying power. Simply put, if love does not last, then it is not real. Conversely, God’s love is as real as it gets. When God decides to love, He does so with the end in mind. He decisively loves, and He commits to the full expression of that love.

What joy and hope and comfort there is in knowing this love from God! Gratitude necessarily exudes from the heart of one who has received and felt this love. The sinner who knows himself/herself to be loved by God is stabilized and shielded amid life’s tremors and storms.

Let us give thanks for the Lord, for He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever!

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. 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” (1 John 4:9–10).

 

Who can measure, who can fathom, who can explain the love of God? It is more comprehensive, more profound, and more evocative than our imaginations can dream. Further, God’s love is tangible, visible, and real. Further still, God’s love is decisive, purposeful, and steadfast.

The love of God is chiefly ‘manifested’ or shown in the sending of His Son to unloving and unfaithful sinners. “Not that we have loved God,” for God’s love does not begin in us. Rather, in breathtaking selflessness, God decided to love the unlovable.

Motivated by His decisive love, God worked out the full expression of His love in creating a people upon whom His love is lavished. All those who look to Christ, who believe in Him, are the objects of God’s immeasurable love. These are those who have been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and the love of God awakens love within them.

May you and I know the love of God, and may we lament ever having presumed upon or thought little of God’s profound love.