How do you know a father’s love?

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~ For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) ~

After one of the most stress filled weeks that I have had yet this year, I returned home on Thursday night ready for the Easter weekend.  Home –  what an awesome word when you are exhausted and need to retreat from the world.  However, peace was short-lived as I engaged in battle with Simon about cleaning his room.   If you are a parent, you know exactly what I am talking about.   To be fair, Simon is pretty good for tidying his room as it has been an expectation for him and his sister for the past couple of years. Nevertheless, Simon was not complying with my request.  In our first engagement, Simon promised to start cleaning up and went upstairs only to become distracted with his toys; he accomplished very little.  Again I requested he focus and clean his room.  Simon moved into the negotiation stage.  “What if I do some now and some after dinner?” he asked.  “Fair enough,” I replied as I had to prepare the meal.  Thirty minutes after dinner, Simon still had not begun cleaning his room.  I moved into the consequence stage and removed his 30 minutes of computer time, which he only gets once a week.  Simon retaliated with an all-out temper fit resulting in an early bedtime.  When I came into his room later to check on him, he was still awake.  “Sorry Dad,” he said meekly.  Using the phrase my wife and I taught our kids in their toddler years, I responded by saying “You’re forgiven.”  I followed this line up with a second phrase that is heard in our household when there is conflict:  “No matter what you do, I will always love you.”  Often our kids will help us finish that sentence.  Tonight Simon responded with a smile and a hug.  In our embrace, there was promise for a better tomorrow.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish be have eternal life.”  John 3:16 is one of the most famous and often quoted verses of the bible.  Even non-Christians, who might not know the exact wording of the verse, can recognize that John 3:16 has to do with Christianity and God.  Have you ever considered why this verse stands out among so many?  John 3:16 is the ultimate expression of God’s love for us.  Consider all the wrongs we have done in our lives.  How many times have you wished for a ‘do-over’ to correct a mistake you made or something you said that hurt someone you loved?  Today is Easter when we recognize and celebrate the resurrection of our Saviour Jesus Christ.  He was humiliated, tortured and put to death for our sins.  Jesus took on and paid for the sins that you and I should have paid for.  John 3:16 is God saying “No matter what you have done, I will always love you.”  God proved it by sending His Son to die for us so we can have a restored relationship with Him.

In our words, thoughts and deeds, we have caused injury and hurt to ourselves and to others around us.  We have failed to follow our Father’s instructions and at times we certainly feel the consequences for these misdeeds.  However, we have the opportunity to say sorry and ask for forgiveness, and it will be given.  At that moment we know the peace of being loved by a Father who has such love for us that His son suffered on the cross so that we can be in relationship with Him and know His grace and love.  In our heart’s we hear His words – “I forgive you” – and his promise – “No matter what you do, I will always love you.”

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