There’s a range of ways that people hug. Some tend to give “little” hugs — maybe even just a gentle squeeze on the shoulders. Others like to give “big” hugs — sort of like getting squeezed by a polar bear! But even the biggest of bear hugs is dwarfed by the embrace that God extends to his earthly creation. In fact, God’s arms have been outstretched toward creation since the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve enjoyed God’s embrace every day until they succumbed to the serpent’s deceit. God later embraced Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but their descendants the Israelites never wholly grasped the responsibility they had to extend God’s embrace to other nations. Finally, God’s embrace was extended to all nations through the outstretched arms of his only begotten Son upon the cross. Jesus’ outstretched arms are an image of the outward embrace of the Holy Trinity unto everyone willing to come to God and be enfolded by divine grace and love.

In John 17:20-26, Jesus prayed for all of those who would come — all those whom the Father would give to the Son. The indwelling of each believer by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9) is proof of God’s loving embrace. The indwelling of all believers by the Holy Spirit is pictured clearly here, embracing believers with the Trinity’s love. It’s like the Father offered a divine embrace through the outstretched arms of his Son upon the cross and then consummates that embrace with each believer through the work of the Spirit who indwells each believer and enfolds them in the arms of God.

It is utterly amazing to think that the Holy Spirit, who is the essence of mutual love and unity within the Holy Trinity throughout eternity, has in this age extended the Trinity’s embrace to all of God’s people. By indwelling every believer, the Holy Spirit affirms within each believer’s heart that we truly are adopted sons and daughters of God Most High (Romans 8:15).

Now that you’ve experienced the embrace of the Holy Trinity in your own life, make sure to extend God’s embrace to the world around you. Whenever you encounter a searching soul, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you can extend God’s outward embrace to them. You may become the arms of God to them.

Pastor Dave Korinek

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