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God loves to love you! God is not obligated to love you (Rom. 9:15), He does it because He wants to! May I explore with you God's heart revealed in this matter in His Word?


32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. - Luke 12:32 (emphasis mine)


"Chosen gladly".  Gladly is defined as eager, willing, with pleasure or gratitude, happily.


Have you ever met someone glad to do something? You know what people do when they have something they are truly glad to do? They look for any reason to do it. Why? Because it makes them happy, they find joy in it. It's not a work to them, it's not a burden to them, it's actually something they delight in.


Question: What something that makes you glad when you do it?


"Chosen gladly" Do not take this verse lightly, it reveals a part of the heart of God. Jesus Himself speaking here testifies that our Heavenly Father has chosen GLADLY to give us the kingdom. The Amplified Bible translates the original Greek here to read " is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." So from this we know that in the heart of God Himself is the desire and His delight to give us the kingdom.


Question: Have you ever thought about what you would do if you won the lotto? I'm not endorsing gambling, but all of us it seems have at one point or another had thoughts and conversations with each other regarding what we would do if we suddenly inherited millions. Before you continue, if nobody has ever asked you that question than consider that I'm asking you it now and stop here and think about it. If you won the "mega millions" what would you do with it?


You know what I hear come up quite often in those conversations? What we would do for others, for family, children, parents, friends, etc. Sure we also have ourselves in focus but often I've found, genuinely in our hearts (both believers and unbelievers) is the desire to bless others with such a fortune. We say things like "I'd pay off my son's student debt" or "I'd buy my mother a house" or "I'd contribute a large chunk of it to Children of the Nations" or ... insert your comment here. First I applaud you, that's a heart's desire derived from love. Now consider this. Your heavenly father has won the lotto (I'm speaking figuratively). More than that, everything is His (I'm speaking literally). All heaven and earth belong to our Heavenly Father (Heb. 2:10) and He has full authority to do what He wishes with anything and anyone (Rom. 9:15-21). Now consider these versus.


11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! - Matthew 7:11


 God here invites us to compare Him to us. If we being evil (by comparison to Him who is Holy) know how to give good gifts (from a heart of love) but restrained by the evilness of our flesh (see Matt. 26:41, often we mean well but if you read up on lottery winners they rarely, almost never carry out what they intended to in terms of blessing others). Imagine God who loves with perfect love (1 John 4:8) and who's power is limitless! Who has no evil, who is not restrained by the weakness of flesh. What does such a loving and powerful Father give? You might be thinking the kingdom, and you are correct, after all it's in the headline verse of this article, but it's more than that, so MUCH more than that. Let me ask you this before I continue. What is the best thing ever? What is the most perfect thing ever? If God could give you anything, what is the best possible thing He could give you? What is the best possible thing He could share with you? What is the most rewarding thing He could poor on you? What is the most satisfying thing He could provide you? What is the most glorious gift God could give? Let's read Luke 11:13 where he gives some additional insight (spoiler alert) to what Matthew was potentially implying in verse 7:11 above.


13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” - Luke 11:13 (emphasis mine)


 Himself!!! The best possible gift ever to us is the best possible thing there is, God Himself! (Phil. 3:8, Rom. 8:18, Exo. 33:18) Consequently with God comes the things of God, His kingdom, His righteousness, His glory, His fruit (Gal. 5:22-23). God doesn't just gift us a small hut in the corner far off, He gifts us with His kingdom! What is His kingdom?


17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. - Romans 14:17


11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. - Psalm 16:11


I haven't even touched on what God went through to provide such a gift (Luke 22:42-44).


But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. - Isaiah 53:10


"the Lord was pleased to crush Him" God was pleased to crush Jesus. God is not sadistic, it wasn't crushing His own Son that gave Him pleasure, it's what the crushing of His Son meant: "He would render Himself as a guilt offering". God wanted to give such a gift to you so badly that He went through all the agony for you, even if you choose to not receive such a gift (Rom. 5:8, 1 John 2:2). The headline verse (first one listed in this article - Luke 12:32) is a wonderful revelation from God of His heart toward us. God delights in lavishing good things on us in a way only He can. How blessed are those who desire it!


18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him. - Isa. 30:18


Verses that reveal the heart of God are ones I cherish. Here it's revealed that God has a longing to be gracious to us and that He even waits on high to have compassion on us. This is the heart of God! He is not a stand offish God who on a good day may show some love, He is a just God who has a longing (His heart's desire) to give grace and who with great patience waits to have compassion on us (again His heart's desire)! In light of this consider these two attributes of God and manifested in the story of the prodigal. (Read Luke 15:11-32). The prodigal's Father was waiting on the front porch, scanning the horizon, waiting to have compassion on His son should the son desire to come home. He was scanning the horizon for his son with such vigor and diligence that even after all this time "...while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." (Luke 15:20b). Just in verse 19 before that was the son deciding to go to the father, the very next verse we see the father come running to him! What a wonderful reiteration of God's heart described in Isa. 30:18 above. God was literally waiting to have compassion on His son and the moment the son decided to go to the father, the father came running, embracing and kissing him! Now watch how the father gives grace! The son had prepared in his speech to become as one of the father's hired men and that he didn't even deserve. But grace, which is defined as giving us what we don't deserve, is given in abundance. The son is cut off in the middle of his "I'm sorry" speech (compare his prepared speech in Luke 15:18-19 with his actual speech in Luke 15:21) with a father who in his authority is carrying out the longing of his heart and is pouring out his grace on his son, restoring his son, and throwing a celebration in honor of his son's return! (Luke 15:21-32). Did his son deserve it? No. Did his Father's actions reflect what the son deserved? No. His father's actions reflected what His father's heart desire was. "...And they began to celebrate." (Luke 15:24b).


May I point out one more thing in our headline verse, that is who the audience is. See the first part of the verse. I'll quote it again with new emphasis:


32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. - Luke 12:32 (emphasis mine)


 The audience God is speaking to in this verse is to those in God's flock who may be feeling afraid that the Father doesn't desire to give them the kingdom. To those that feel God is harsh (often we portray God to be much like our earthly figures in authority such as our parents, grandparents, foster parents, etc.) God is saying in His heart is gladness to give you the kingdom. Not because you earned it (that's why it's a gift) but because He wants to! God is writing this knowing the audience will struggle with this very thing (otherwise why would He have written it?).


It's interesting when I share the following verse the two ways a person can internalize it.


15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” - Romans 9:15 (which is quoting Exo. 33:19).


One person reads that as God not being obligated to have mercy or compassion on anyone, another person reads that as God is free to have mercy and compassion on anyone, and both are correct. One person (like myself) internalizes it that God doesn't have to have mercy or compassion on me and they stop there and are "afraid". Another person internalizes it as God is not restrained by anything from having mercy or compassion on me and they rejoice! So I share this article with the intent to help you also grasp the latter in your heart. But take courage, even if your heart doesn't embrace it, it doesn't change the fact it's true of God who is greater than our hearts! (1 John 3:20-21) and therefore can still embrace and kiss you as he did with the prodigal who's speech wasn't regarded either!


God loves to love you! There is why God was pleased to crush Jesus (Isa. 53:10). Not because crushing Jesus was some how pleasing in and of itself, but what it meant for Him! That by doing so He made a way that He could now justly, out of His love for you, fulfill His longing to have compassion on you and to be gracious to you. It was for this joy that the Jesus endured the cross (Heb. 12:2), how blessed are all those who long for Him. (Isa. 30:18b).


18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in unchanging love. - Micah 7:18 (emphasis mine)


Do you know there are several recordings in the bible where Jesus cried? Isaiah 53:3 states that He was a man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief but specifically there are Holy Spirit inspired recordings of Jesus crying.


One was in John (John 11:35) when Jesus was surrounded by those lamenting on behalf of the death of Lazarus. Jesus was moved and Himself began crying (silent tears as the original language indicates) with those He was in company with. Jesus was not sad that Lazarus had died, He knew He would raise Lazarus (John 11:4). Scripture tells us He was empathetic for those in His company that were weeping (John 11:33). He was sad, simply because they were sad, even if it was not justified. Jesus felt what they felt. He was hurt because they were hurt. Our Lord was troubled in His heart on behalf of those who were troubled in their heart. As Romans 12:15 tells us to weep with those who weep. Jesus was the perfect example of this.

Another is in Luke (Luke 19:41). Earlier in Luke 13:34 as Jesus was journeying toward Jerusalem He said "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!" Now in chapter 19 the bible tells us as He approached Jerusalem and saw the city He wept over it (Luke 19:41). This time was not a silent crying but was outwardly, visible to others. The word for wept here is the same word used to describe Mary and the others with her who were weeping over Lazarus.


Yet another recording is in the epistle Hebrews (Heb. 5:7). This time was different. This time Jesus was wailing. Hebrews 5:7 says "In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety." This may be related to what Matthew recorded in 27:46 when Jesus "cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”". It may also be in reference to what's recorded in Luke 22:44 that says "And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground." Both are in reference to the same act, Jesus crucifixion. The first recording Jesus cried silent tears, the second recording Jesus cried aloud, this time Jesus is wailing.


Question: When have you wailed? Why?


Jesus was in such agony that He was wailing. Even His sweat became like drops of blood. Why? Because Jesus was about to become our sin and therefore endure the full wrath of God on Himself, and unlike us, Jesus being God incarnate, knew the full extent of what that meant, so it's no wonder He was in agony. Actually the word excruciating was invented in an attempt to give proper credit to the anguish Jesus endured on the cross. Why did He do this??? Isaiah 53 tells us:


But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities. - Isaiah 53:10-11


The time Christ cried the loudest was because of the excruciating agony to come at the cross. Why did He do it? Not because He wanted to, for who would want to endure a cross? Rather it was what enduring the cross accomplished. Hebrews 12:2 says "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."


You are that joy. He did that for you. Don't waste it. We desperately need it, He longs to give it, the rewards surpass anything you could ever imagine (1 Cor. 2:9).


God endured the worst. Why? Because God longs to be gracious to us, to run and embrace us, kiss us, and throw a party on our behalf. The same God who has done everything required to free Himself up to do lavish on us.


See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! - 1 John 3:1b (NIV)


We need only "come to our senses". This joy is even shared among the hosts of heaven.


So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” - Luke 15:3-10



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Have some feedback, insight, questions, comments, prayer requests, etc? Maybe you just want to share what God is doing in your life (I love praise reports), or maybe you can relate to some of the things here and need an ear. I'd love to hear from you!