Growing up kinda sucks (but I love it at the same time)

God is really making me grow up spiritually/emotionally right now, and it is so much fun, ha ha ha… not.

It is sucky and painful and un-com-fortable.

And yet it makes me love Him all the more, because I know He’s my Dad and He’s doing it because He cares for me and doesn’t want me stuck in the same old childish patterns of thinking and doing.

'And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons.' (Hebrews 12:5-7)

Some resources on the Father’s love & Father heart of God

Having recently blogged about the Father’s love and loving others, I thought it would be useful to post links to some good resources where you can learn more about the Father’s love and His Father heart.

After all, truly understanding God’s love for us as His children in Christ will not only be the medicine to heal our hurt and wounded hearts (which we all have to some extent from living in a fallen world), but it will also propel us to passionately and joyfully take the Father’s love out to those around us so they can also know Him as well!

So here are some that I’ve found helpful:

'Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].' (Psalm 27:10, AMP)

The link between knowing the Father’s love & loving others

There’s a reason why I’ve recently been blogging about both loving hurting, broken and lost people, and about knowing the Father’s love and growing in intimacy with Him.

It’s because they’re intrinsically linked.

To be honest, you could love other people for a number of different reasons: because it’s the “Christian” thing to do, because of feelings of guilt or obligation, out of a heart of justice, to make you feel good about yourself, and so on.

But to truly love those who are not easy to love in a genuine, sacrificial way - the way Jesus taught us to love (Luke 10:27-37; Matt. 5:43-48) - and without burning out and without losing joy… you need to live with a real knowledge of God’s love for you as His dearly beloved child.

If you have repented of your sin, have accepted by faith the free gift of forgiveness that Jesus bought for you at the cross, and have fully entrusted your life to the Lord, then you are in Christ and have been made a son/daughter of God (Galatians 3:26)! Which means that God has become your perfect Father (and Mother*) and loves you with a pure, unconditional, unchanging love - the same love He has for Jesus because you are in Christ!

No wonder the apostle John couldn’t contain himself when he wrote, 'See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are!' (1 John 3:1, AMP)

And you know what, when you begin to grasp the depth and richness of the Father’s love for you, and live each day growing in that knowledge, it is the most energising, joyful, life-giving fuel that compels you to be devoted to God in all that you do and to love every person with a love that is supernatural, introducing our spiritually fatherless world to the Father.

And that, I believe, is what is at the very heart of being a Christian.
  

* God calls Himself “Father” but He also completely encapsulates motherhood as well. See: Isaiah 66:3; Isaiah 66:13; Psalm 27:10Matt. 23:37.

My friend Yohaan Philip has written a beautiful post over at the Sonship Blog about how becoming a father showed him something of what God the Father’s love is like.