When I think about the word “lavish” the first thing that comes to
mind is Cinnabon. I know, I know, you’ve never actually eaten one of these – just looked at them as you went by… Right. But if you work for Cinnabon, you need to know how to lavish. You need to lay on the cinnamon and butter and icing without any restraint! That’s my point.
Think about what “lavish” means as you read this next line from 1 John:
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1)
God lavished His love on us by bringing us into His family as His loved children. Perhaps your experience with your dad was not ideal. God’s version of fatherhood is perfect. So much so, He encourages us to come to Him whenever we are in need, without formality or hesitancy (Hebrews 4:16). He told us to call Him “Papa” (Abba, in Hebrew – Romans 8:15). Most people, if they accept the idea of being a child of God at all, think of the relationship portrayed in the von Trapp family in the beginning of “Sound of Music,” with the kids all in uniform, standing at attention and responding to signals from a captain’s whistle. God’s version is a lot more like the family interacts at the end of that musical.
John says “the world does not know us” and that is true. Believers and followers of Jesus are commonly misunderstood and criticized. They don’t get it because they are not (yet!) in the family. When the family gets together things go on that those in the world have never experienced. I remember my childhood family, the kids lying around on the floor in front of a crackling fire, with my dad sitting in his favorite chair, reading a story. Things happen in God’s family that are much, much better.
Such as Papa’s love, lavished on His children…