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Extravagant Love

As parents, we yearn to bless our children and do so much for them. We want to buy them gifts, offer them the world. I have to remind myself to hold back from spoiling my children, so I don't stunt their growth. God longs to do the same for us. He rushes to our defense, provides for us and protects us. His discipline is meted out lovingly, only allowing what will be useful to us as valuable lessons.

The story of the prodigal son is one of the best-known stories about the love of a father. The prodigal left home as an act of his free will and did everything contrary to his father's values and his upbringing. Yet, when he reflected on the state of his life and made a conscious decision to go back home, he found the father eagerly waiting and looking for his return. (Luke 15:20). God is that Father, looking for us and waiting eagerly for us to notice Him and return to Him. He is such a good Father, with only good thoughts and plans for His children.

I heard this line once in a movie "If I have not communicated to you how much you are loved, I have been a bad father; you are loved." These are the words of a fictional father. If we, as humans, give good gifts to our children, why would the Lord who rules over all things, give us serpents when we ask Him for fish? His love for us is incomparable to the love of a parent, or any known form of human love because His love is unconditional, 'Agape' love. Human love is often conditional and variable. God's love does not change; He gives His all, demanding nothing but our love in return. God's love is so great, it surpasses knowledge. He communicates this love to us in every detail of every day - the air we breathe, the beauty of the universe around us and the mercy and grace He extends to each of us, regardless of our individual circumstances. An old hymn goes "Wide, wide as the oceans! High as the heavens above; Deep, deep as the deepest sea is my Savior's love. I, though so unworthy, still am a child of His care. His word teaches me that His love reaches me everywhere."

Today is a great day for you to rejoice and be glad because you are loved with extravagant love. It doesn't matter what the circumstances of your birth are; it matters less how others perceive you or what society says about you. You are loved by the Maker and Creator of the universe! John 3:16 is one of the most well-loved verses quoted from scripture. That verse is about you! Yes, you. For God so loved ________________________ just insert your name. He made plans for you way before you were born. That is so exciting. All you have to do is call on the name of Jesus and receive the love He is offering. Stop struggling to run things for yourself - like the petulant child who yanks his hand from his parent's hand, attempting to cross the road all by himself because he hates the restriction. Put your hand in God's hand and together, you can navigate freeways and jungles. He will never slacken His grip on you. Won't you trust Him today? Let God love you as you deserve to be loved. Shalom, and God bless!

Romans 8:35-39

Charles A. Miles, 1914

Luke 15:11-32

Jeremiah 29:11

Hosea 11

John 3:16

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