When I think of God’s heart, I think about my Dad. Kindness, strength, practical wisdom, commitment, forgiveness, and, most of all, compassion for the lost have marked my Dad’s life. In fact, today is his 80th birthday.
I’m sad that I’m not with him today. As I write this, I’m in Maryland and he’s in South Carolina. I was glad to be able to talk to him on the phone tonight, but it’s not the same. My Dad had a major stroke a few years ago, so he’s not able to communicate very well.
That wasn’t always the case, though. I’ve never personally known anyone who enjoyed talking to others about the Lord Jesus, inviting them to church, or going to visit them in their homes more than my Dad. We see that heart for others in the Lord God when He told Adam and Eve to fill the earth and rule it (Genesis 1:28). In other words, “Spread out, and spread My image all over the world.”
The creation account gives us a true historic record, but it’s also a foreshadowing metaphor of the gospel of God’s heart for the world.
Genesis 1 is the big picture telescopic view of creation, but Genesis 2 is the more detailed microscopic view. Verses 1-15 clarify that only the Garden of Eden was a paradise when the Lord put Adam there. The rest of the world was still barren with only the potential of seed in the ground (see verse 5). The later verses of that section tell us there were four rivers flowing from the Garden. The Lord called them to spread out (probably along these rivers as sources for irrigation) to make the rest of the earth like Eden. And, while it was certainly a call to physical work, it also represented the same call to spiritual work that we see in Acts 1:8 when Jesus told His disciples, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
That’s the reason why the Lord was so upset in Genesis 11. Instead of the people spreading out to make His love famous, they were gathering together to make a name for themselves.
God’s heart is also why the Lord Jesus said that every book of the Bible reflects two commands, “‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27)
So if you are seeking to follow Christ by faith, and you wonder what He feels for you. Know that it’s great, great compassion and love. That’s His heart. How can we love the Lord and not tell others about His great love, too?
Thank you, Lord, for that command and privilege to share the good news of your forgiveness, change, and new purpose through Christ.
And I’m glad today was a happy birthday for my Dad.
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