Devotion 97

WE ARE GOD’S CHILDREN

As those of us who are parents know, there is no stronger bond than that between a parent and a child. Nothing can break that bond; not even criminal behaviour could diminish the love existing between these two.

Why, then, would we believe that sinful behaviour would break the bond existing between our Beloved Abba, our Father, and His children?

Being the Perfect Parent, Yahveh realizes all behaviours will be met with consequences, positive and negative. For example, a child who extends friendship and acceptance to another will receive a friend, while one child who rejects another will likely gain an opponent.

What is it then, that creates this strong bond between God, the Parent, and we, His children?

Before we begin this journey, let us examine the hallmarks of love itself. Rav Sha’ul, in his letter 1 Corinthians 13, presents to us a list of love’s characteristics:

Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not gloat over other people’s sins but takes its delight in the truth.  Love always bears up, always trusts, always hopes, always endures.  Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Study this collection carefully; how many of these characteristics do you, as a parent, hold in the love you have for your child? Unfortunately, due to environmental circumstances (finances, workload, internal strife) many, if not all, of us have violated at least one of these identifying characteristics in our parent-child relationship. But that is not God’s way. As the Apostle John tells us, in 1 John 4:8, Yahveh is Love: Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love.

Many of Yahveh’s children believe the God in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, is not a loving God. This belief could not be further from reality. Keeping the characteristics of love in mind, let’s examine just how Yahveh’s Love comes through:

Nehemiah 9:17 – . . . You are a God of forgiveness, merciful, full of compassion,

slow to grow angry and full of grace. . .

Jonah 3:8-10 – “They must be covered with sackcloth, both people and animals;          

          and they are to cry out to God with all their might — let each of them turn

         from his evil way and from the violence they practice.  Who knows? Maybe

        God will change his mind, relent and turn from his fierce anger; and then we

        won’t perish.” When God saw by their deeds that they had turned from their

        evil way, he relented and did not bring on them the punishment he had

        threatened.

Isaiah 43:1-3 – But now this is what Adonai says, he who created you,

     Ya‘akov, he who formed you, Isra’el: “Don’t be afraid, for I have

     redeemed you; I am calling you by your name; you are mine.  When

     you pass through water, I will be with you; when you pass through

     rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you will

    not be scorched — the flame will not burn you.  For I am Adonai, your

   God, the Holy One of Isra’el, your Savior — I have given Egypt as your

   ransom, Ethiopia and S’va for you.

Nahum 1:7 – Adonai is good, a stronghold in time of trouble; he takes care of those

    who take refuge in him.

Notice how each of these verses speaks of Yahveh’s Love for us and not only for the people of the time. The underlying constant in these is His Love, even when He is exercising His consequences and punishments, as a Loving Father.

Clearly, He knows us better than we know ourselves. We are mysteries even to ourselves. Only the Ruler of the Universe and the Lover of our souls has the insight and understanding of the depth of our hearts and souls. When you go before Him, do you feel the Love He has for you? Do you know, in your heart, He will never abandon you, even when He tests you with righteous, rigorous trials?

CONSIDER: Yahveh, our Great God, has made it abundantly clear: He will never leave us alone; He will always be near us. Even when we feel alone, He is there. Do we feel Him near us? If we do, then we are in a good place. If we do not feel Him near us, I urge us to come to Him, humbly and sincerely, asking Him to fill us with the certainty of His Love.

ACT: Spend a few minutes each day in communicating with The Father. Open your heart to Him, even though He knows what is in your heart. Being honest with Yahveh, allows us to be honest with ourselves.

Pray: Beloved Yahveh, our Dearest Father. How we cling to the understanding of Your love for us being unconditional and irrevocable. With You there is certainty in our future with You. We pray for Your providing us with the knowledge of Your immense Love for us, at all times and in all Ways. In Your Beloved Name, we pray.

May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.