Many of us celebrated Father’s Day last month. Why is it that we celebrate Father’s Day? It’s usually because of the love, compassion, advice, and protection that our fathers have shown us. In order to appreciate them, our culture has dedicated one day of the year in remembrance of them. When I was reading the following verses it reminded me of how much parents make sacrifices for their children:
12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
I remember an instance when I was in High School I did something that wasn’t my wisest of decisions. At the time, I was around the age of 15 and my parents had just signed me up for driving school. To my disappointment they had signed me up for Friday 6 PM classes, which was when most people usually hung out. This specific Friday I had just finished basketball practice at the school and everyone had decided to go to the rec center down the street to play some pickup games. Instead of me going home right after school I decided to go with the rest of my team mates to the rec without letting my parents know where I was. Since I had just gotten my first cell phone I had no excuse not to call them and tell them where I was. In any case I don’t know what my master plan was on avoiding them from inquiring why I hadn’t gone home, didn’t call, and intentionally missing driving school but me being the childish 15 year old I was didn’t think twice about it and totally lost track of what time it was. Around 9 PM that night, one of my church friends walked into the rec and told me that everyone had been looking for me! It turned out that my dad had called in sick from work when I didn’t come home, went up to the school to look for me, called the Police when he didn’t find me there, called up half the church to start a search party, and stopped a high school basketball game to tell the coach that his son had gone missing! Once he had found me, he was angry beyond belief but much less than I expected him to be. I knew that he was more relieved to find me than angry that I hadn’t obeyed him. I didn’t think about it much then, but years later when I think about what I pulled on him and just the amount of worry and grief I caused, I couldn’t help but think about how much my dad loves me. He, without thinking twice, would sacrifice his own life for me because I am his son!
That made me think, how much greater is our heavenly fathers love toward us! The verses from John 15 reminded me of a few similar verses in
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
These verses have a very logical approach to sacrifice. It says that no one would usually give up there life for someone just because they are a stand-up guy but some may consider giving up their life for a righteous person. When we think about what state that we were in, we didn’t fall into either of these categories. We didn’t at all love Christ, we weren’t even neutral about him, but rather we completely hated him! Just because of the sin nature that is within us we completely rejected who God was. The best expression of this is found in
He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
In verse 3 of this portion it says that we despised and forsook him even when he loved us. In other words we were the furthest from loving him when WE were in need of him and even in that lowly condition Christ reached out to us to save us! We were in a helpless and hopeless state of being dead in our sins and without a Savior. At the RIGHT time Christ came down to this world, lived among us, experienced what we felt, and then died for his creation. But lucky for us it doesn’t stop there. He not only died but was buried and rose again becoming victorious over Satan, sin, and death through his sacrifice. By us believing in him and his work on the cross, we are able call ourselves his sons and daughters and trust in his promise that one day he will return and call us together with him to our heavenly home and have the ability to sit in his presence and worship him for all eternity! If you haven’t trusted in the Lord as your personal savior, he is calling out to you today asking admittance into your heart, all you have to do is let him in! We don’t know how long we have here on this earth and when we will pass away but one thing that we do know is that based on what choices we made will determine where we spend eternity. Now is the time for salvation, all you have to do is admit that you are a sinner who falls short of God’s holiness, believe that Christ died on the cross for your sins, and commit our lives in service towards him. Nearly all of us have experienced the love that our parents or loved ones show us and considering that, we have a heavenly father who loves us much deeper than that and he wants a personal relationship with you, it will be the best choice you ever make!