Summary: The love of God is more than we can understand, but he has lavished it upon us! How do we understand that, how do we respond to that?
How great the Fathers love; lavished!
There are some truly magnificent things that can happen in a person’s life. The foundations of true friendship as you meet people for the first time and you know that there will be a bond between you. I have friends like this that after years we can get together and take up where we left off. Another thing I think that is great is the earth, God’s creation; to look out on the expanse of the Pacific Ocean or across the McKenzie Country and just take in the magnificence, the vastness, the life and drama the reflected light and the knowledge of the danger that lurks below the surface or in a freezing south-westerly blizzard. The love of a wife or husband or parents for children that gives assurance and understanding, a union of understanding, the sort of love that gives more than it takes, that delights in the other persons company. Perhaps to follow the growth of a seed to maturity and the blooming, and development of more seed, of food and nourishment from a very small beginning.
These are things that I consider outstanding, splendid things, for some it may be a well written song, the sound of a valley of bellbirds as they welcome the sun into the day, for car enthusiasts it could be the sound of a finely tuned V8 purring onto a raceway after many hours in the workshop, while for others it may be the silence of a time alone - but together with God.
In Johns first letter, which incidentally we are doing a series on. This great apostle says this. 1 John 3:1-10.
So from that reading we see the role of The Father, of Jesus and The Holy Spirit, the three persons of The Trinity in our salvation the position the Father has put us in because of his great love. The interesting thing is that often it is thought that we are the instrument of our own salvation. When in fact it is God who made it possible, in doing so: As the Father
1) He bestows his love upon us (3:1a). It was a choice of the Father to give us His love and the word that is used in the NIV translation is that His love was lavished on us, this means he bestowed in generous or extravagant quantities on us His love!
2) That we might be called His own children (3:1b-2a). John goes as far as to say, ”And that is what we are!” As you will know the doing of this was no mean feat for Jesus. There’s also a little pointer in verse one that the world has not got the gist of this, as it has not got God sussed. With being God’s children we have an inheritance, an eternal inheritance.
3) There is also a mystery about eternity, in that John says “what we will be has not been made known”. But now that we are His own Children one day we will be like God (3:2b–3). In this case I’m not talking about the long hair and the beard that is often portrayed as what Jesus looks like. And incidentally I still recon that what Jesus does look like will probably surprise many. I personally can’t see him being a blue eyed blond. Where I think John is going here is towards us being perfected in resurrection at the end of the age. God has lavished great love upon us though Jesus!
God as the Son, as Jesus:
1) Died for our sins (3:4–5). Before coming to God through Jesus none of us was spotless. Jesus came so that we could have freedom from sin and the guilt that comes with that sin. Shame that comes from guilt is an insidious thing that drags a person down.
This about shame from the staff of Nicholls State University. “Shame is at the root of low self-esteem. People who feel shame feel bad about who they are. This differs from feelings of guilt, which are related to thoughts, feelings, and actions. Those who experience the pain of shame have negative erroneous beliefs about their inherent abilities and worth. Large doses of unhealthy guilt can cause one to feel shame and its negative effects.
Social abilities are impeded when one feels burdened by shame. A person may have a pattern of avoiding social interactions, which can lead to lack of development of social skills. They may avoid intimacy with others and have only superficial relationships, which deteriorate in times of stress. Isolation and loneliness are serious consequences of shame. Self-condemning attitudes and negative self-talk reinforce the shame and ultimately lead to self-loathing and self-sabotaging behaviour.” http://www.nicholls.edu/counseling/newsletters/effects-of-shame-unhealthy-relationships/. (Sited 02/10/2012
How great is the love of God for us that this is an issue that Jesus removed.