Knowing is not Understanding

Think back to when you were a kid and you did something wrong. Remember when you would have to face your dad and/or mom and they would hand down your punishment, whether it was a spanking, or grounding from being able to go out with friends or watch TV. Now I don’t know about your parents, but mine would look me right in the eye and make sure I heard them say, “Kirk, I am doing this because I love you.” At the time, all I could think about was the punishment I was about to receive; I never really thought about why my parents made sure I heard those words. I have always known that my parents love me, but up until just over a year ago I never understood the depth of that love.

Eighteen months ago God blessed my wife Kurty and I with a daughter named Aria. She was 8 pounds 15 ounces and 22 inches long – big and tall just like her proud papa. Luckily for us, she looks like my beautiful wife. In the delivery room, when my daughter came, I remember thinking, “this is the most precious thing in the world and I get to take care of it.”

I remember a mixture of feelings. I was scared and excited all at the same time. Then I thought, “I love this little girl. I would do anything for her at this moment. I would throw myself in front of a bus for her right now and she has not done a single thing to deserve my love.” I did not realize it at the time, but looking back I realize what a perfect picture of the Gospel that is. We don’t deserve God’s love, but he gives it to us anyway.

If you are reading this today and doubt about how much God loves you, let me encourage you with 1 John 3 1-2, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now.”

We are God’s children now, the Bible does not say, we are God’s nieces and nephews now. The author specifically says “children of God,” we are His son’s and daughters. I am now beginning to realize just how much God loves me, because I know how much I love my daughter.

I was watching Francis Chan speak once, and he brought his son up on stage with a wooden cross. He had his son stand on a box and put his hand up as if he was nailed to the cross. I cringed as I watched it, but I left there thinking about what it would feel like to have my daughter up on that cross. Not only does God call us His son; He also gave His son for us. I want you all to hear this loud and clear, GOD LOVES YOU. God loves you no matter what you do, as long as you put your faith and trust in Him, he will always love you. My hope is that if you have not already, you will move from a knowing that God loves you, to an understanding that God loves you. You are as precious to Him as His own child.

–Kirk Darling


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