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Love of the Father

Read this blog post by Bethel Christian Center

A Father's love is one of protection.  

An image of a loving Father is often absent in society's imaging and stereotype symbolism.

The Father's love is the key to what holds all of life together.

This week at Bethel we studied this in three ways:

# 1 - Perfect Love is not forced

The prodigal son journeyed to a far country. Oftentimes, people have to hit rock bottom to realize what opportunities they have turned away the entire time. Perfect love does not force reciprocation. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love doesn't force love in return.

#2 - There is no love to surpass the love of God

Every human analogy falls short when describing God's love. Dr. S.M. Lockridge once said that his King is the only one of whom there is no means of measure to define His limitless love and that this love never changes. This is true, and there is nowhere you can go to escape God's love. Romans 8:38-39 tells us that nothing can separate us from this God-sized love. It is real and it is more powerful than anything else within comparison.

Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’ “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. Luke 15:11-24 NKJV

#3 - Divine Analogy

While human analogies fall short of comparison, Jesus as the only perfect human offers up the only perfect analogy of the Father's love. The parable of the prodigal son depicts this incredible love on many levels. Regardless of what you may have done and where you may have run, your heavenly Father's stance towards you has not changed. Even if you don't realize or often consider the distance between you, take time to consider how much He loves you. It's not one to demand a response, but the radical grace is certainly far superior to any other alternative.

Push into His presence in a deeper way this week! You will be surprised by the difference in your experience with God when you connect with a Spirit-filled community to encourage you and spur you on when things get difficult. The Holy Spirit is moving around the world, and we are preparing for a great local move of His Holy Spirit here in Durham before Jesus's soon return.

God's Word is both timeless and powerful today!

We hope that you will consider this week's message in greater depth in the days ahead and meditate on God's Word in the attached pdf outline.

You can find the sermon and all resource attachments in the link below.

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