Flavors of Faith: Love

It’s no secret that my chocolate chip cookies are a favorite. They are what friends request when I bring food to their house and what my kids willingly eat brussel sprouts for. When Abigail, our middle child, was diagnosed with severe food allergies I was determined to always have a dessert on hand that is safe for her to eat. Baking these signature cookies started as a labor of love and, according to Galations 5:22-23, love is an important attribute that we Christ followers should demonstrate. 

But God did something way more amazing than perfecting a cookie recipe to demonstrate His love. He gave us the most beautiful love letter ever written, the Bible. It’s how He speaks sweetly to us. It’s how He addresses things that are important to us. It’s where we learn about His greatest gift of all, Jesus. It’s where we see God Himself demonstrate the very first Fruit of the Holy Spirit.

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23a

During my high school and college years my dad gifted me a new devotional each Christmas. In 2003 I unwrapped Father’s Love Letter by Barry Adams. It’s a book that has a special place of honor on my bookshelf because within its pages is an intimate message from God to each of us. It’s a message that I hope reminds you of the truth of God’s love today.

“My Child…

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. (Psalm 139:1) I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Psalm 139:2) I am familiar with all your ways. (Psalm 139:3) Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:29-31) For you were made in my image. (Genesis 1:27) In me you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:28) For you are my offspring. (Acts 17:28) 

I knew you even before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:4-5) I chose you when I planned creation. (Ephesians 1:11-12) You were not a mistake. (Psalm 139:15-16) For all your days are written in my book. (Psalm 139:15-16) I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. (Acts 17:26) You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) I knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) And brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6) 

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. (John 8: 41-44) I am not distant and angry but am the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16) And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1 John 3:1) Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. (Matthew 7:11) For I am the perfect Father. (Matthew 5:48) 

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. (James 1:17) For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33) My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3) My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Psalm 139:17-18) And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17) I will never stop doing good to you. (Jeremiah 32:40) For you are my treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5) 

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. (Jeremiah 32:41) And I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3) If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. (Deuteronomy 4:29) Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) For it is I who gave you those desires. (Philippians 2:13) I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) For I am your greatest encourager. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. (Psalm 34:18) As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. (Isaiah 40:11) 

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. (Revelation 21:3-4) And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (Revelation 21:3-4) I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. (John 17:23) For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. (John 17:26) He is the exact representation of my being. (Hebrews 1:3) He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. (Romans 8:31) And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Jesus died that you and I could be reconciled. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. (1 John 4:10) I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. (Romans 8:31-32) If you receive the gift of my son, Jesus, you receive me. (1 John 2:23) And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. (Romans 8:38-39)

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. (Luke 15:7) I have always been Father and will always be Father. (Ephesians 3:14-15) My question is… will you be my child? (John 1:12-13) I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32)

Love, Your Dad, Almighty God”

God’s love pursues us even when we are actively running from Him. His love cuts through the layers of our sin and offers us life. It’s a love we don’t deserve and can’t earn yet is freely offered anyways.

Last Christmas we kicked off our Advent series by looking at the wedding of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Joseph. It is certainly not a fairytale but in their story we do get a birds eye view into what true love looks like. We often misunderstand love. We treat it as a feeling. But love is not a feeling. It’s an act of obedience. We can’t just receive God’s love and stop there. It is our responsibility to faithfully love the people around us.

Have you accepted God’s love for yourself? If not, it would be an honor to walk you through that process! If so, how are you in return loving the people your own life touches?

If you enjoyed this love letter from God than please visit www.fathersloveletter.com to check out more of their resources! And, as I previously mentioned, baking cookies is a labor of love for me so it only seems fitting that I share my recipe with you now. As a special little tip, they taste best when you eat them directly from the freezer!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix (The secret ingredient!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups whole wheat white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 ounce package chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat the butter, both sugars, pudding mix, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl.  Beat until creamy and fluffy. Slowly mix in flour and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before transferring them from their baking sheet to a cooling rack.

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