Loved and Worthy

As many of you know, our family is expanding rapidly. Both Jessika and Josh are engaged to be married (and just between you and me, Jamie’s time could not be that far off!) and we now have the joy of welcoming into our family Jericho and Kasey. What a fun time of life. We could not be more excited or thrilled.

Now as parents, Kristi and I have been praying for this time since the kids were first born. I remember standing over their crib as they first came home from the hospital thinking not only of the beautiful creation and bundle of joy God so graciously lent to us (yes I said ‘lent’, our kids are really God’s on loan to us to love and raise to follow Him and love Him more), but of the delight and excitement that God would allow us to experience as their parents. The love I felt for them was instantaneous. Yes, it had been brewing for nine months, but from the time they were brought into this world, I was overtaken with great love for them. With each one I thought I could not love another child as much as I loved them. Yet as each was born, God expanded my heart to love each with a continual love that grows deeper and deeper.

Something happened when both Jessika and Josh got engaged. God once again expanded my heart to love both Jericho and Kasey with that same love I have for my own kids. I was not expecting that. I thought it would grow as they got married and lived on as we experienced family dinners, holidays, birthdays, grandkids, life, but it was not like that. For Jericho, it was the night he so bravely asked Kristi and I if we would give our permission for him to ask for Jessika’s hand in marriage (he and I had had the traditional “ask the dad to marry the daughter” talk a few days before, it’s a great story I will have to tell you sometime). With Kasey, it was right after Josh had asked her to marry him (and she said yes, of course) and the two families came rolling around the corner in a double-decker bus for a family party, and as I hugged her, a flood of emotion hit me like when I was first a dad and I loved her like one of my own.

This love I have for them was not because of how nice they were to me and Kristi (though they are). It’s not because of some great accomplishment or what I would benefit from (though a few grandchildren would be nice someday). No, this love was just because my daughter and my son loved them and chose them.

As I thought of all this, I could not help but think of the greater, deeper, extraordinary nature of God’s love for us, like in…

Romans 5:8  8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

That God loved us long before we even thought of loving Him. He even loved us while we were deep into our self-centered, sinful ways, not even caring about Him or His way of life…yet He loved us.

1 John 4:10  10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Wow, far beyond my expanding love experience for my kids-in-law, God has loved us with a sacrificial love that can fill us full and satisfy our every need. This love brings us into His forever family and we are loved as sons and daughters…

Galatians 3:26-27  26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Though my love for all my kids pales in comparison to God’s great love, I got a glimpse how His love surrounds us. We don’t earn it, nor do we deserve it, God has simply chosen to love each of us.

Let that love soak in deep and fill you, to know that you are worthy not because of what you do, but because you are loved by God as a son, as a daughter.

Grace and Peace,

Mike

Thank you to all those who are using our offsite parking at Cypress High School, it has been very helpful. Please keep parking at Cypress High School to save room for guests. Please keep praying God would continue to meet our financial needs. (Last Sunday was good but we could use a lot more good Sundays)

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