The life of my earthly father taught me about the love of my Heavenly Father. My father chose to adopt seven of us. He chose to love children who were not his own. In my law practice, most people want to adopt an infant because they don’t want to deal with the baggage that comes with children who have been scarred and damaged by sin. The logic is–if you’re choosing to invest heart, money and time into a child, you’d like a clean slate so you have the best shot at making it count. Well, my dad didn’t see it that way. Only one of us seven kids was an infant when he adopted us. I was the oldest—and, by far–the most rebellious! As I look back at how he loved me–someone who was not even his own flesh and blood—it’s an incredible picture of my Heavenly Father. My dad gave me his name, called me his child and treated me as his own. He adopted my scarred little heart and sacrificially traded in his own goals in order to give me a loving home. He did this for SEVEN kids! He spent thousands of hours teaching us how to live–and–he LIVED what he taught. In the throes of my rebellion, I’m sure there were times that he wondered if I was a hopeless case. However, he didn’t give up because his commitment to love was unconditional. His example taught me much about my Heavenly Father’s love. The Bible says: “See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are!” (1 John 3:1a) Even though we are all scarred by sin, God wants us to be His children so much that–He gave even MORE than my dad–He offered His beloved and perfect Son to die on the cross for our wretched and rebellious souls. He extends the offer of His royal lineage even though He knows we have a TON of baggage. Even as we ask for salvation and He willingly adopts us, He knows our scarred little hearts will kick against His love, follow our own prodigal will, and follow the the foolishness of the world. Yet, when we are His children, He patiently loves, disciplines, comforts, encourages, counsels, teaches, nourishes, etc., just as a Father does. Some never learn to appreciate His love and miss out on the greatest experience of love that this life has to offer. Do we want to experience His love? Do we want it bad enough to make the effort to spend time with Him and obey His ways? When we commit to seek Him and let nothing less than Him stand between us and Him—we find His magnificent love–and we NEVER want to be without Him!