This week we’ll spend time stirring up our affections for God through the renewing of our minds. Your mind is the gateway to your affections. What you think is worthy of your affections is what will receive them. So, as we grow in our understanding of God’s overwhelming goodness we will naturally give him our hearts. May you be stirred by the unconditional love of your heavenly Father this week as his perfect nature is revealed to you in greater, more transformative ways.
As a follower of Jesus you have been brought into the family of God. Take a moment to let that truth sink in. Think about what it means to have God, the Creator of the universe, the embodiment of Perfect Love, as your Father. So often we lose sight of the fact that God is our Father and view him through perspectives not aligned with Scripture. We view God through lenses the world and unfortunate experiences have given us rather than a revelation of him as a good Father given to us by the revolutionary teaching of Jesus.
In Matthew 7:9-11 Jesus teaches us, “Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” You have a Father who loves to give you good gifts. So often we think of God as a harsh disciplinarian who never lets his kids enjoy life. We assume he will say no to anything that gives us pleasure as if he only wanted us to go to church more, pray more, or give more time and money. But that’s not the heart of your Father. Your God is the author of joy, pleasure, happiness, and good gifts. He longs for your life to be filled with the perfect gifts he has planned for you every day. John 10:10 says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” As your perfect Shepherd, God will faithfully guide you to and supply you with all you need to live marked by fullness of life.
In Matthew 19:14, Jesus displays the heart of the Father when he says, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” As our Father, God longs for us as his children to simply be with him. He longs for us to know his love and embrace—to let it be the foundation of everything we do. More than God desires any task of you, he longs for your heart. So great was his desire for just the opportunity of relationship with you that Jesus displayed the fullness of God’s unconditional love by willingly laying down his life for you. There is no room in Scripture to view God as anything but perfectly loving and good. View God as the good Father he is, and run to him with open arms and an open heart that you might find fullness of life in his eternal embrace.
Take time in guided prayer to allow God’s presence to overcome misconceptions you might have about him. Often if we’ve been in church for long enough we stop at a theological understanding of God the Father and don’t allow time and space for him to heal our hearts and transform our lives. Don’t let that happen today! You have a good Father who loves and longs to simply meet with you. Spend time with him today getting lost in the sweetness of restored relationship.
1. Receive God’s presence as you meditate on Scripture.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
2. Ask God how he feels about you. Listen and quiet your soul to receive a revelation of his heart.
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” -Augustine
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
3. Where do you need to apply God’s character to your life? In what ways are you living as if God was a taskmaster rather than a good Father? In what ways are you seeking to provide for yourself rather than working to receive provision God has already promised?
“Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33
In every trial and circumstance you face today, God has a plan to lead you perfectly. He is not a God who sits back and watches as we try to figure life out. He wants to get involved in all that you do, just as a perfect father wants to help his children succeed and live with joy. Ask God what he thinks about what you’re doing. If you run into a problem today, ask for the Spirit’s guidance. Doing your day with God is the absolute best way to live. He knows everything and has a perfect plan for you! Take time today to listen to God and trust his leading.
Extended Reading: 1 John 3