As we return from the church retreat, I trust that we have been thoroughly blessed as Ps Pax Tan brought us through the theme of “Experiencing God as Father”. As we reflect on God’s love, I am often reminded of the words in 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

As Christians, we can all recall the day that we first placed our trust in Christ, and received Him into our hearts and lives. I remember experiencing first-hand God’s deep and abiding love, and breaking down in tears of gratitude and joy, knowing that I am truly His beloved child, as well as having the promise and assurance of God as my heavenly Father. To know that nothing can ever separate us from His love (Rom 8:39), and that He will never leave nor forsake us (Heb 13:5), gives us the confidence and motivation to live our lives pleasing and holy towards Him.

Likewise, He mandates us to love as He loved us. We read on in 1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” As we ourselves experience God’s love in our lives, may it lead us not only to be transformed by Him, but also to be channels of blessing and influence to others around. As we walk and grow in our faith, as we experience more of Him each day, may Christ’s love truly compel us no longer to live for ourselves, but for Him who died for us (2 Cor 5:14, 15).

As we take back life lessons from the retreat, I pray that God will speak and convict our hearts, and that we will respond and obey whatever He calls us to. I leave us with these words from a modern hymn by Stuart Townend:

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

See related articles:
Behold the man upon a cross (Challies, 10 Apr 09)