Saturday, May 22, 2010

Blessing number 4..."I Love You"

I reversed the order a bit for dramatic effect. I admit it. I wanted to explain it in this order because I think the lesson has more impact to dads if we see it in this way.
Jesus has just come up out of the Jordan after having John baptize Him. The heavens open, the Spirit falls on Him, His Father recognizes him as His son, and He also says He is very pleased with Him.
In the blessing is also a wonderful little adjectival phrase..."whom I love" (the KJV renders it "beloved"). I placed this near the end because it is the most important blessing God gave Jesus. Why?
Remember at the beginning we discussed that Jesus had not yet begun his earthly ministry. In fact, this event was being used as a launch for that ministry. Jesus had not healed one person, had not fed anyone miraculously, had not cast out a single demon or taught even one word of a parable. He had accomplished nothing yet, toward plan God had for him. He did not come up out of the Jordan with a list of converts or a massive offering in his money bag. He didn't have any disciples.
He had done nothing at all except be a son.
And that is all it took...
God literally tore heaven open (according to Mark) to get to His son and pour His Spirit on him. I think He missed His son. If, as we believe, Jesus left heaven and inhabited a human body than He was missing from Heaven for the 30 years leading up to this moment. I think his Father missed Him. Why wouldn't he? I miss my daughter when she is away.
But what is most important in all of this is that Jesus had done nothing to earn the proclamation of God's love. He simply was. That is all it took to be loved by his Father in heaven.
So it is with us. Brennan Manning says "The most loving thing we can do for Jesus is to let him love us."
When my daughter was in pre-school, she made a little wall hanging for Father's day. It was a questionnaire and the teachers would ask the children the questions and then fill in the answers, no matter how funny they were. What follows are the questions and the answer she gave...
1: My dad is ______ feet tall. Her answer: "Ten"
2: My dad is _____ years old. Her answer: "7" (which is probably very old when you are 4)
3: I like it when my dad: ______ Her answer: "Chops his food" ( I am a gourmet cook and can high speed chop like Lagasse)
4: My dad always watches ____ on TV: Her answer: "News and Racing cars"
There were a few more and then there was one question that left me in tears...
10: My dad always tells me:_______ Her answer: "He loves me"
Of all the things my daughter heard me say, the thing she heard most frequently was "I love you". It began when she was still in her mommy's tummy. I would talk to Holly's belly through a paper towel tube. One day as I began to say the same thing I said each night; "Hi's your daddy...I love you" she kicked! It was amazing. My daughter wasn't even born yet and she recognized my voice.
That is all God was doing here. he was telling Jesus "I love you".
Dad's, if your kids don't hear it from you they will seek to hear it elsewhere. make it the first thing they think of when the conversation turns to "stuff my dad says".
Pour out this most important blessing on your kids like God did to his son. Pour out your love. Remember that Jesus had done nothing of greatness yet. God didn't wait until the end of Jesus ministry to proclaim His love...he did it first.
Men pronounce your unconditional love on your kids daily...many times each day. Let it be the biggest thing they know you by.
Give them blessing number 4...the Love of the father

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