Faith & Insight: Remember, your father loves you
I am writing this article for the first time in months in complete silence. The sounds of my kids running around the house, fighting over the Wii controller and begging me to take them to the swimming pool have faded. Both my boys have begun their first day of school. Like most parents I am enjoying the peace that has entered my home, although it also comes with a sense of uneasiness as my boys go about their day without me there to guide them.It was my first-grader who came up to me in his class and said, “Dad you can leave now,” which made me realize it may be harder on me then it is on him, so on the white board where he was sure to see it I wrote “Do your best and remember your dad loves you.” It was my hope that throughout the day he would be able to look at the promise on the white board and know for sure that he has a father that loves him. The Bible is also full of promises from a loving father to his children, promises that can be read and taken to heart, promises that give us comfort and assurance, promises that the Christian can hold on to and use to navigate through every situation. The Christian needs only to open his Bible to find them. The truth of our father’s love is clearly seen in his command. John 15:12-13: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus’ willingness to lay down his life not only for his friends, but also for his enemies, provides the model and serves as an example to those who believe. We can take comfort in these words and be sure that the God who loves us was willing to lay his life down to save us. There is no greater love.The writer of Hebrews leaves us another great promise from the father, the promise of his presence. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Perhaps it was easy for my boys to jump back into the school routine because they have learned that I would be there if they needed me. The promise of God’s presence is something that we too can hold on to. We can be confident that like a shepherd, the father is there with us during our times of happiness and our times of sorrow.Our father loves us. It is one thing that the Christian can be certain of, and we can be sure that there is nothing that can separate us from that love. This is a promise we can hold on too and find comfort in. Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our lord.” This is not only truth inspired by the Holy Spirit, but also Paul’s own personal conviction arising from the depth of his own heart. God is actively trying to make his love known to his children, and the Bible declares that love. It is my hope that you will open up your bible and know for sure that your father loves you. • Micheal Hurlbert is pastor of Carson City’s First Christian Church.