Have You Been Lavished?

Has anyone ever lavished you with love? If you have trouble answering that, always think of the Cross. Nowhere was love poured out with such abandon, passion, and grace as on the Cross. There God reveals Himself as our most ardent and devoted Lover. John famously wrote in his gospel, For God SO LOVED the world, that He gave His only son to save us." That theme is all over the Bible. Aren't you glad?

Years ago a man came to see me to talk about getting involved in our church. Less than a minute into the conversation he told me that he was bipolar. He also shared other "labels" he had that had become his identity.

I suggested that he stop identifying himself by labels that he or others had ascribed to him. "There’s only one label that matters," I told him, "and it’s this: Child of God.” I explained how God had adopted Him into His family through the death of Jesus on the Cross and I said, “I never want to hear you describe yourself in any other way in my presence or I will immediately correct you, okay?”

I meant it. None of us should ever define ourselves as anything other than a dearly loved, completely cherished, wholly forgiven, scandalously loved, and unconditionally accepted child of God.

Toward the end of his life, the Apostle John penned these words, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1, NIV)

Did you notice that word, "lavished?" It’s what real love always does; it goes the extra mile, exceeds our wildest expectations, and fills us with wonder...which is exactly what God did for us when He adopted us as into His family. Let that sink in, friend. You belong to God. You’re HIS child! That's incredible and life-altering truth. Don’t ever forget it.

Now, hold your head up high, accept His total acceptance of you, and go out and tell someone the good news. The whole world needs to hear it. It's time to stomp out shame. It's time to restore hope. It's time we sing again, don't you think?

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