Some people observe that we may start out seeing God as we have experienced our earthly father. If your father was distant, then you may see God as distant. If your father was harsh and condemning, you may see God as harsh and condemning. If your father was loving, you may see God as loving. But however you have seen God the Father in the past, you should come to have a better understanding of God as you are taught about Him through the scriptures and as you experience Him throughout your life. With this encouragement, I want you to appreciate that God really loves you.
One of the outstanding characteristics of God is that He is described as love. 1 John 4:7-10 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” If you have every loved someone or had someone love you, then you get a small picture of what God is like. He also loved His only begotten Son, Jesus, very much. But He sent His beloved Son into the world to suffer an agonizing death on the cross just so that He would save you from you sins and give you eternal life. He didn’t have to do that; but He loved you. Romans 5:7-8 “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus didn’t come to die for you because you were good. He came while you were still a sinner to die for you. God loved you so much that He wanted to give you the opportunity to be saved. Jesus became the atoning sacrifice so that you wouldn’t have to suffer the penalty for your sins. God did that for you. That is great love!
God knows all about you. He knows what you are really like. He knows all of your faults. He knows what you think. He knows what you need. He even knows how many hairs you have on your head. Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Since He knows such details about you, perhaps you are amazed that He still loves you. But He has chosen to demonstrate His love by treating you as a beloved child. 1 John 3:1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” God considers you His son or daughter.
Since He loves you and wants the best for you, it should not surprise you that He will discipline you to influence you in the right way to go. Hebrews 12:5-10 ”And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.” There will times in your life when He chastens and disciplines you because He loves you.
He demonstrates His love for you in many ways. He has given you His Spirit. 1 John 4:13 “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” He hears every prayer that you make. 1 John 5:14 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” He gives you wisdom when you ask Him. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” He gives you all things that pertain to life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:2-4 “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” He has given you exceedingly great and precious promises to include eternal life. There is so much that God has done and continues to do for you. I hope that you appreciate that He really cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
It requires faith to appreciate the love God has for you. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” You must believe that He is and that He loves you and is blessing you. Do you have faith in His love?
Since God loves you so much, it should be natural for you to love Him in return. 1 John 4:19 “We love Him because He first loved us.” When you realize that what He does in your life is for your good because He loves you, I encourage you to love Him and seek to please Him throughout your life.