father love

See how great a love!

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 John 3:1 NASB).

This verse has been on my mind almost every day as this Sunday approached. On that day, we will observe an undeclared holiday: Father’s Day.

I have been a father for the last 41 years. Even though my long experience should give me a sense of what the apostle wrote in this verse, the thought of it continues to awe me.

Like most fathers, I have worked hard all my life for my wife and children. I have been a paramedic, a nuclear inspector, worked on a farm and been a preacher. There were jobs in which I was so tired when I went to work I did not think I would make it to the end of the day. But all that work — more than 40 years of it — never came close to what God did to make children out of sinners.

Look how great a love our Father has bestowed on us! When man fell by transgression, God developed a plan of salvation for sinners. Through his providence, he moved the world toward a day when there would be a single government with a system of roads, a mail system, a common language of business and commerce that almost everyone could read.

Paul explained when by inspiration he wrote, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). The Greek grammarian A.T. Robertson wrote, “God sent forth his preexisting son when the time of his purpose had come.”[1] When everything was just exactly right, God moved heaven and earth so he could save us! Look how great a love our Father has bestowed on us!

My wife and I became parents of two girls in 1975 and 1976. Three years later, she gave me my only son. We have cherished all of our children. We both worked very hard to give them the best life we could. Even now, we would do anything to help them.

God sent his only son whom he loved as a sacrifice for our sins. Look how great a love our Father has bestowed on us! Our Father in his love for us while we were even in sin (Romans 5:8-9) provided what we needed the most: he provided a sacrifice for our sins. The son he cherished, every bit as much as the one I cherish, he gave to die for me!

After everything my heavenly Father has given me, how do I treat him? Do I act as though he is an imposition on my time? Do I refuse to obey him and continue to rebel against his will? Why would I do that after what he has done for me?

Look how great a love our Father has bestowed on us!

[1]Word Pictures in the New Testament” by A.T. Robertson

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John Henson

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, John Henson has been a husband for 40 years and a preacher for about half that. He currently serves as the preacher for the Dibrell Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee..

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