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“The reality of the love of God for us is often the last thing in the world to dawn upon us. As we fix our eyes upon ourselves, our past failures, our present guilt, it seems impossible to us that the Father could love us.” Sinclair Ferguson wrote those words, with surgical-like precision, in Children of the Living God (p. 27). There are very few sentences that find their way into my mind as frequently as those two sentences that sit on little-old-page 27 in Sinclair Ferguson’s least read book (Side Note: When he preached at our recent October 4-5 conference for pastors, Sinclair told us that the book he most enjoyed writing, Children of the Living God, is also his worst selling book. I was totally shocked when he told us that. Children of the Living God has long been my favorite book of his.).

John Piper once wrote, “What I have learned from about twenty-years of serious reading is this. It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two.” I have to say that what has been true for Piper has been true for me. God seems to most often use sentences, not books, to change me or awaken me out of a spiritual slumber.

“The reality of the love of God for us is often the last thing in the world to dawn upon us. As we fix our eyes upon ourselves, our past failures, our present guilt, it seems impossible to us that the Father could love us.”

I must confess, the reality of the love of God for me is often the last thing to dawn upon me. To switch to metaphorical mode, the Good News of the Gospel is that there is no “dawn” for us when it comes to the sun of the Father’s love, I mean the Son, not sun. Since the Son of the Father’s love never sets upon us, it always shines upon us, whether we feel the warmth of its light or not.

I know your mind may believe what I just wrote, but I wouldn’t be surprised if your heart did not. So, just in case some part of you does not believe the Good News of the previous paragraph, read what Paul has to say in Ephesians 1:4-6 to those who are in Christ (emphasis mine):

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

Everything the Father has done and does for us and every disposition of His toward us at all times (without exception) are “in love” and “in the Beloved.” This forever reality is what comes with being “in Christ.” The Father’s “I love you with the same love with which I love my eternal Son” are words that the Father never stops speaking over you, over me! To be God’s child through adoption is to be loved like this. The Son of the Father’s love never sets upon His children.

But that’s not to say that the reality of the love of God for us will “always” often be the last thing in the world to dawn upon us. Although as Christians we are already adopted by the Father, the Day is coming when we will experience what Paul calls our “adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23). When that Day comes, the love of the Father for us will never “dawn” upon us. It will be the air we breathe, the light we see, the water we drink, the food we eat, the ground we walk on. That, my fellow struggler, is Good News for us today and forever!


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