The Special of the Day... From the Orange Moon Cafe...
(Thanks to my dear friend and brother Bryan W. for inspiration on this one.)
"A Great Father!"
"We have a great Father!"
A dear friend and brother in Christ shared this wonderful thought with me in an email yesterday. Of course, He is so right, which led me to the remembrance that I really did not know what it meant to have a father until I was eighteen years old, when I became a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. My human dad passed away when I was 2, and while I was told much about him by my mother and other family members, I have little recollection of him. Throughout my childhood, I felt the challenge and difficulties of being without a father, and to this day, I can feel in my personality and disposition the deficit that God allowed in my early life. This has both positive and negative aspects, but I know my Heavenly Father works all things together for good, and has used my earthly father's absence to fulfill His purposes in my life. "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31).
This leads to the main reason I share this with you. When I became a Christian, I entered into the family of God, and into the experience of His fatherhood. In the pages of Scripture, I discovered - and continue to discover - what a father truly is. I also experienced - and continue to experience - our Heavenly Father's presence and working along the pathways of life as my perfect authority, provider, protector, teacher, disciplinarian, and faithful administrator of grace and truth. I marvel continually as the journey proceeds, overwhelmed often by His faithfulness, encouraged by His working, challenged by His challenges, and sometimes puzzled when I cannot fully understand His ways. In all, however, my friend's affirmation - "He is a great Father!" - shines brilliant light upon the pathway God paved for me, and on which He accompanies me every step of the way.
I also think often that God has a lot of practice being a father (not that He needs it!). He has forever had a son - the Lord Jesus Christ - whom He has forever loved, and to whom He has been a perfect patriarch. In the wonder of His grace and mercy, our Heavenly Father continually fulfills the assurance of the Lord Jesus offered just before He went to the cross:
"I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:26).
Wondrously, God loves His trusting children in Christ with the same love He has forever bestowed upon the Lord Jesus. The Spirit of Christ dwells in us, and when He looks upon believers, He sees us as united to His beloved Son and our beloved Savior. Thus, His first inclination toward us is always infused with grace, even in those times when He must act toward us with the chastening and scourging every truly loving father administers (Hebrews 12:6). I have discovered - and continue to discover - that unlike my earthly father who could not remain with me, my Heavenly Father abides with me every step of the way. And He always will. His gift of the Lord Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit makes this possible and actual, leading to the growing realization of how well my dear friend expressed the truth yesterday: "We have a great Father!"
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."
"Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name."
Weekly Memory Verse
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.