Compelling Love

I’m thankful that many of you were blessed by my post yesterday. I hope that my thoughts today will also be an encouragement.

In the last week while my dad’s been hospitalized, I’ve rubbed lotion on his hands, sat silently next to him just holding his hand, and helped him walk to the bathroom or find the right word to say when he’s struggling. We’ve played tic-tac-toe together and done simple physical therapy tasks like reaching up high and flexing his wrists. I’ve encouraged my dad to count to ten, and sign his name, and sing the ABC’s. I’ve helped him decide what to order for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then arranged his plate with just half of a sandwich and a few strawberries and a handful of chips so he’s not overwhelmed by too much food.
And I wonder, do I think that he’ll love me more if I do them … or that he’ll love me less if I don’t? No. No. Of course I don’t.
Rather, my deep love for my earthly father *compels* me to serve him. I have a profound sense of gratitude toward my parents. My parents cared for me when I had nothing to give them. And now I’m honored to be able to serve them, in just a small measure of the way they served me. I *want* to take care of them.
Serving my dad is not a burden. It is a joy.
And this relationship makes me think of my relationship with my Heavenly Father. My Heavenly Father loved me while I was still a sinner. He came after me while I was running away from Him. Like the hymn says, He loved me e’re I knew Him.
The gratitude and love that I have for God is immeasurable. It’s like Paul wrote, the love of Christ compels me. (2 Corinthians 5:14) I *want* to serve God because I love Him so much.
If you do not feel that compelling love to serve God, let me encourage you to search your own heart. Those who have been forgiven much, love much. Take a minute and think about the depth of your own sin and how much you need a Savior. Then, consider the great price that Jesus paid to rescue you, shedding his own blood on the cross in your place – so you could have eternal life through Him.
If none of this makes sense to you, I’d love to chat. I’d love to serve Jesus side-by-side with an army of brothers and sisters. Let’s love God and love others because He loved us first.
“For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”(Ephesians 2:4-9)

The Love of a Father

I’ve been staying with my dad in the hospital for almost a week now.

Yesterday, during a moment of clarity, my dad communicated to the doctors that he’s feeling sad because he was intelligent, well-spoken and able-bodied, but now he is struggling to even say a sentence or walk to the bathroom with a walker. Later yesterday afternoon, after a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, he started crying because he had been a champion bridge player.

And then it hit me.

I love my dad just as much today as when he wrote 100-page legal briefs and solved impossible math problems.

I love my dad just as much today as when he built a custom-made island in our kitchen and rigged up a light so we could know when the garage door was open.

I don’t care if he can put on his own socks.

I don’t care if he knows what year it is or what city he’s in.

He’s my dad and I love him.

And then another truth hit me.

That’s how God loves me.

God doesn’t love me because of what I have to offer Him. He doesn’t love me because I’m intelligent, well-spoken and able-bodied.

He just loves me because He loves me.

I’m His daughter and He’s my good, good Father. Thank You, Father, for making me Your daughter, and for making Emil George Trott, Jr. my earthly dad.

“[Jesus] came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11-13)

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1)

“[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Timothy 1:9)

“[God] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5)

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Of things perishable and imperishable

While studying 1 Peter, I’ve been impressed by how often Peter talks about what is temporary, momentary or perishable, in comparison to what is lasting, eternal or imperishable. As I’ve been sitting with my dad in the hospital for the last few days, I’ve been thinking again about how important it is to fix our eyes on what is eternal.

Gold perishes.

Our trials are temporary.

Our flesh is withering like grass.

But God, His Word, and our coming heavenly inheritance are lasting.


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-7

“Love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” – 1 Peter 1:22b-25

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18