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February 2019

Hey Guys and Gals ... the month of love is upon us.  So don’t forget to express your love for that special person in your life!  Oh ... and speaking of “expressions of love” – what about this one:

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!                     - 1 John 3:1a (NIV)

When I read this verse, I think of a companion verse, 1 John 4:19:  We love because he first loved us.  Folks, love begins with God.  If we leave love on strictly human terms, we will find that this type of love is incredibly fickle and wholly inadequate to meet our most basic need.  We need so much more.  And it is available to us!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us:  John calls upon us to use our powers of observation with respects to God’s love.  His love is evident – not cloaked or obscured.  It’s on display for all to see!  And this is no ordinary love – John describes God’s love as a great love.  We encounter the New Testament love-word agape here.  It’s not a love conditioned by requirements.  No, it’s an unconditional “no-strings-attached” love; a love freely given, expecting nothing in return.  It’s not a love tethered to feelings – a love that grows and then wanes.  It’s a godly love that seeks the highest and best for another person.  It’s this kind of love that God has lavished on us.  God isn’t stingy with His love.  No, God is over the top in His love for you and me!

That last part of the verse is very descriptive:  ... that we should be called children of God!  The love of God is like the love a Father has for his children.  It’s a tender love, the love a strong Father shows to vulnerable children.  It’s a compassionate love, revealed in a Father who cares for and meets the needs of his child.  It’s a holy love.  A Father’s love commands respect, desires devotion, and expects obedience.  And it’s a love that binds two people together in relationship.  Think about it.  Even though we have been adopted into the heavenly family, God’s love for us isn’t any less!  May we bask and rejoice in the lavish love of our Father!

~ Pastor John

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