Friday, February 12, 2021

Chocolate Spread

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

My inspiration for today’s message comes from our two sons who are rather partial to some chocolate spread on toast. We go through a few jars of chocolate spread in a year. Needless to say that they do not spread sparingly. Oh no, they lavishly spread the chocolate over the toast. I sometimes think that they have chocolate spread with a bit of toast. 

The word lavish is a lovely word and is not used a lot these days. As an adjective, the dictionary defines it as ‘sumptuously rich, elaborate or luxurious’.

The New Testament has three short letters written by John. Towards the end of his first letter, he wrote: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” You may know that verse from another version: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” I would like to explore this verse with you. 

"Behold" - We do not hear this word often. Similar words are see, observe, view, watch, survey and gaze. John wants his readers to perceive God’s love. He wants them to understand what it is all about.  

"What manner" -  the type or kind 

"Of love" - In Greek, there are different words used for love. Some of you may remember learning these four different words in an RE lesson. The first is Eros or romantic love. Philia is a friendly, affectionate love. Storge is to do with a bond. For example, the love between a parent and child. The fourth is Agâpe which is Godly love and is the word used in our verse. Christians use this when talking about God’s unconditional love. There are many hymns and songs that talk about love. Here is a short children’s chorus which is sung to the Flintstones theme tune. 

It says: 

God’s love is the best love 
That the world can ever, ever know 
Deeper than the deep sea 
Is the love that only God has shown. 
Higher than a rocket up in space. 
Wider than the total human race. 
God’s love is the best love 
That the world has ever, ever 
Can ever, ever 
Will ever, ever know! 
"The Father" - For some readers the notion of having God portrayed as a Father may not be a helpful one given personal experiences with an earthly Father. If that is you, think of God as the perfect parent, the perfect guardian. 

"Has lavished" - There is the word I linked to chocolate spread earlier.  

"on us that we" - Yes, God’s love is offered to all. Have you responded to such love? This is the love that sent Jesus to die on a cross to pay the price for our wrongdoing. If we believe this then the verse goes on to tell us that we… 

"shall be called" - What is in a name? It identifies us. 

"children" - You and I have experience of being a child and being part of an earthly family. Some of us have been blessed with children and have seen family life from an adult’s perspective. I wonder if you would consider yourself a child of God, a Christian, a Believer? 

"of God" - is our last phrase and is the second mention of God in the verse.  

What do you know of God’s love for you? 

He is wanting to lavish His love on you without limits and it is totally unconditional. Accept it and be blessed as a child of God. In the book of James we read “You do not have because you do not ask God.” Do not miss out. Ask now!

Messages with Meaning Written by Nigel Binding For Your542Day


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