September 17, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”—2 Corinthians 13:14 (ESV)
“And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’”—Luke 10:27 (ESV)
British psychologist, John Bowlby, is known for his contributions to attachment theory. Through researching relationships between parents and young children, he concluded that human beings are biologically wired to form a loving bond with another person who is known as greater and better able to cope with the world. For Bowlby, this was the child’s primary caregiver, the person who would be the infant’s place of safety in times of danger and their secure base, the place from which they could explore and learn about the world. The conclusions of his studies have proven to be true about parenting, but they point us to an even greater truth: We are fundamentally wired to be in a secure and loving relationship with God.
Throughout Scripture, we read about God’s desire to be in relationship with His creation and the lengths He goes to in order to restore His relationship with creation. In our Exodus series, we read that God revealed himself to Moses as “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14) indicating He is the very source of anything we could ever need or want.
God reveals Himself as gracious and compassionate, abounding in steadfast love (Exodus 34:6a), showing humanity His heart and character. These passages and many others show us that God is the perfect caregiver, bigger and better able to meet every single one of our needs. We can know God as our place of safety in times of trouble and the foundation we need to navigate through life.
Sadly though, our sin and brokenness often distort the picture of what our relationship with our heavenly Father was meant to be, and instead of seeing God as loving and kind, available and willing, we grow up believing He is harsh and punitive. Rather than going to Him as our place of safety, we hide from Him in shame and fear. So how do we restore this relationship with God our Father?
We’re deeply loved by God. 1 John 4:18 (ESV) states, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” So, the more we make God’s love a tangible reality in our lives, the more we’ll experience security and rest. We reciprocate God’s love “because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19), meaning we respond to God’s love for us by loving Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. We offer Him all we are because He gave Himself up for us.
Friends, you were made by God and for God, and life will not have meaning until you discover the safety and freedom of His perfect love. He is the perfect Father our souls need. God longs to be in intimate relationship with you, and He demonstrated His love by sending His son to restore what our sins had broken. May you take a step closer to His heart for you today.
Pause: What is your view of God? Is there anything in your life that’s keeping Him at a distance? If so, why?
Practice: Read Romans 8:15. Write down this verse and make it a challenge to memorize it this week.
Pray: Heavenly Father, it’s hard for me at times to fathom how much You love me, yet You made it clear when Your Son hung on the cross for me how far You would go to have me back. I’m sorry for the times I take this for granted or when my heart grows indifferent and distant toward You. Draw me closer to Your heart today through Your Holy Spirit and awaken in me a deeper love for You. Amen.
Gabriella Bemis serves as a volunteer for Calvary’s communications and worship teams. She holds an M.A. in psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is passionate about integrating her knowledge of human behavior with the truth of God’s word. When she is not writing resources or singing at church, Gabi loves to paint, cook, and enjoy time outdoors with her family and friends.