This weekend — Calvary on Campus — we’ll be pondering the gospel found in Jesus’ story of the Prodigal Son. Actually the main theme of this story is not the prodigal living of the son, it is the prodigal loving of the Father. Paul describes this love in Ephesians 3:17-19
May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
It’s not enough to know about this kind of love. We have to know it. Love is not so much meant to be studied as it is to be experienced. That’s what Paul…is talking about… But here’s the problem, “We Just Don’t Know… how much we are loved!
A few weekends ago at church I was talking to a new dad. As I was talking to him, it was hard to get his attention, because it was like he couldn’t quit lookng at the daughter in his arms. God loves you like that only mre.
I remember a few years ago, I spent 4 days with city-reaching pastors from all over the world. Shaun and Jerry are from Beijing, China. During our time there we reported on what God is doing in our cities. It was a very encouraging time. One of the questions that we have to answer is “What is the best thing that has happened in your city in the last 6 months? I had already heard some of what God was doing Beijing — very exciting stuff happening in the house churches — so I was looking forward to hearing more. Shaun got up…and…shared that the very best thing that had happened in all of Beijing that year was that he had finally become a daddy. I thought…wow…that’s how God loves us, only more.
I’ve talked to a few husbands who have a wife or a child going through a rough time. And they tear up, and as they are talking what you know is that in their hearts they have said, I will do anything and everything I can to help them… God loves you like that only more.
In Zephaniah 3:17, it says,
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Every once in awhile when our whole family is eating out in a restaurant, I will be looking around at my family and some song will start bouncing around in my heart and I’ll just feel the need to start singing. Now granted I do it partially because I enjoy embarrassing my daughters…but can you imagine a God who loves you so much that he would stand up in public and sing over you.
- Your picture is on God’s screen saver.
- He lays awake at night thinking about you.
- Your artwork is hanging on his refrigerator.
- He’s got your number on speed-dial.
- He watches your most common repetitive acts with wonder and awe. The angels get tired of hearing about us.
Do you get it? Is the vision of Father God’s lavish love coming in focus? How much he wants to connect with us heart-to-heart? This weekend at Calvary on Campus…we will ponder for a bit of time… the lavish love of Father God.