Read 1 John 4:13-17
"By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world."
What is the love that God has for us?
God is the complete expression of love (1 John 4:16) who is infinitely patient and eternally faithful. We already have the Lord's attention; we don't have to jump through hoops to gain it! He chose you when He planned creation (Ephesians 1:11-12), and it is His desire to lavish love on you simply because you're His child and He's your Father (1 John 3:1).
Martin Luther, father of the Reformation, understood this concept of a God who comforts us as a child on the lap of her mother, and described prayer as the "climbing up of the heart into the heart of God." But many of us don't experience God as truly the "God of all comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3) because of the father flaws in our lives.
What can we do about these marred filters through which we see God? The first thing is to understand them and then to resolve them. Jack Frost, author of Experiencing the Father's Embrace, says that until the father issues are resolved through "an experiential revelation of the heavenly Father's love," a person may be a Christian for many years but find it difficult to experience the affectionate love God has for us.
You may be thinking by now that earthly dads just can't win. In a way that's right; we live in an imperfect world, and no father can ever meet every need and be the perfect father. Only God can fill that bill! But the good news is that the very holes in our lives that result from imperfect fathering or life's losses can be used to draw us into the arms of God.
Are you ready to meet your ultimate Father as we launch into a New Year? You'll meet Him in the Bible ... so keep reading!
Lord, help me to know You better in the days and months ahead. Help me to sense Your love and to share that love with others. Amen.