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Our God is a great Father. We talk about Him often as our Abba Father, ever loving, ever fighting for our hearts, ever guiding us and giving us good gifts. But to focus on the Father heart of God alone is to miss crucial aspects of His character and love for us.

In Matthew 23, Jesus is speaking to a gathered crowd and His disciples. He pronounces a scathing judgment of the scribes and Pharisees of the day, calling them "blind guides" (v. 16) and "blind fools" (v. 17, 19) and accusing them of the utmost hypocrisy. Before He is done, not even the general populace has escaped His admonishment. But then suddenly His tone changes:

" O Jerusalem, Jerusalem ... how often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings" (Matt. 23:37b).

In this short verse, we see our sovereign God revealing His love for us: that of a mother who wants nothing more than to snuggle and protect the children she holds dear. This is the heart of God. Can you imagine a world without this nurturing, motherly love?

A world where children would never know what it is like to have someone tuck them in for the night or patiently help them with their homework.

A world where there would be no one to stand up for you, no matter what and who is always proud of you.

A world without someone to whom you can always turn for advice or help when you're in pain and don't know what to do.

Such a world would be pretty bleak indeed.

This past week, I have been in Russia for the National Pastors Conference, and I am a witness that no matter where you are in the world, the love of a mother is the same. Likewise, whether you experienced this motherly love from your biological mother, an adoptive one or some other figure, such as an aunt, grandma or even your father, the impact of this love is the same. It is warming. It is comforting. It is transformative. No matter if you're a child, teenager, adult or have children and grandchildren of your own, a mother's love has the ability to make your life so much better.

It's been almost a year since I've lost my own mother, and living life without her has been an everyday reminder of how important, loved, and valuable mothers are in our lives. That's why in honor of Mother's Day being only six days away, this week I want to say thank you to every mother.

Thank you, mothers, for loving your kids no matter what they've done.

Thank you, mothers, for putting your kids' needs above your own.

Thank you, mothers, for raising the next generations of this world.

Thank you, mothers, for continuing to make the world a better place.

Thank you, mothers, for being there for your kids, no matter how old they grow or what direction their lives take them.

Thank you, mothers, for reflecting another aspect of the matchless love of God toward us.

Please take this week to celebrate with the mother in your life! Happy Mother's Day!

You're beautiful!

I see Jesus in you.

Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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