It was until I had children that I fully understood the love, caree and dedication of my parents towards me and my siblings. Of course, before I had children I new they loved me, though I might had doubt it a couple of times, but there were plenty of evidence that their commitment to us was real and for the ling ride. I remember in my beginnings as a pastor, before marriage and children, giving counsel on the importance of parental involvement in the education of their children. The importance of love, communication and discipline. And even though the concepts I shared were not that far from reality, they all were based on a one-sided perspective, on the receiving and, but not on the giving end.
Being on the receiving end we risk over-nurturing our selfishness. No wonder the amount of ungrateful children in today's world. We may confuse love with only receiving. But when we become parents, and are put in the position to give without being rewarded, is when we remember with a hint of shame the many times we received from our parents without even giving the thought of recognizing their efforts.
We can only fully comprehend God's love when we place our selves on the giving end of it. Matthew shares the mission of Jesus calling him " Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us,’" "for he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21,23). Isn't it wonderful? But if we left it like that, it would do very little for our cause. Though having the way paved to eternal life, through Jesus, we wouldn't have the right attitude to receive it, for selfishness would be our motivation.
The culture of heaven is selflessness. Of God the Bible says: "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Would you highlight the word "gave"?, and later on Jesús describes himself like this: "There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends" (John 15:13).
We can't comprehend God's love for us if we haven loved like he does, therefore, we can't appreciate God's sacrifice for us, disabling us to fully surrender to him.
We must assimilate the culture of heaven, a culture of love from the giving end, so we can comprehend God's love towards us and then fully, and willing surrender to his love. That's the reason of Jesus invitation: "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19).