This Father's Day, June 15, 2014, I would like to take some time to honor our Heavenly Father. God The Father often gets misunderstood as mean, inflexible and punishing, when really He is a tender, loving and merciful Father who we can be ourselves with in prayer. One who won't reject us. One who accepts us just as we are while at the same time encourages us to change and grow. A Father who longs to have a relationship with His children.
God made us on purpose. He had a reason. A good one. We might be quick to think it was for a self-serving reason. It's hard to imagine that God's reason could be He simply wanted us to know the Love that He is, and share in His eternal happiness. With no ulterior motive, and with no need to create us, He made us so that we can know and experience His eternal bliss.
God's nature is Love. His natural state is one of a "giver." God wanted to spread His Love, and after creating the earth and all creatures in it, He decided to take creation to the next level by making something in His own image and likeness, something higher than the animals, something more than the sea or the mountains. Something different. Something holy. Something that could choose between right and wrong, and be able to recognize His Goodness. Something that could choose Love and share in His divine life. And He did. He made us. With reason and an intellect He made us. With a heart, soul, and will, and the ability to choose to do His Will, He made us. With one breath, God brought us into being. The work of His hands. No one is an exception. He is The Father of All mankind.
He had a plan in mind for all of creation to share in His Glory and be eternally happy. We were made by Him, for Him. We were made to share in His infinite Love. We were created to be free, and with that freedom use it to choose Him. He had to make us free, after all, if He didn't we would be robots. We would be loving Him simply because He programmed us to - and that's not real. Instead, He gives us a choice to accept His Love or reject it. And we chose to reject it.
As a result there were some heavy duty natural consequences of that decision - sin and death. Why? Because sin and death is the opposite of love and life. Through the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we chose the opposite of God, and He respected that decision. Now, the possibility of eternal separation from God exists for each one of us should we continue to reject Him. After all, He is a God of pure freedom, giving us this choice. But through His Son, Jesus Christ, God gives us another chance, another opportunity, to chose love and life.
After the sin of Adam and Eve, God - in His Goodness - immediately sets into motion the plan to save us. Our human nature was incapable of correcting this wrong. Divine nature would have to do it. God Himself comes to earth and takes upon Himself all the sins that would have destroyed us. He bears our pain and suffers the consequences of sin - even though He is sinless. The uncreated God becomes man, and fixes everything. He restores human nature by allowing us once again to share in His Divine nature in the person of Jesus Christ who took on our humanity. And we still reject Him.
Regardless of our sinful nature, God The Father continues to reach out to His children, inviting us back, encouraging us to have an actual relationship with Him through prayer. He's probably wondering what it would take to convince us He loves us. He's tried everything, and we continue to fail to believe in His Goodness.
Sometimes we might mistake the natural consequences of sin resulting from The Fall of Adam and Eve as God sending us pain and suffering. We forget His original intention. God made us to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him and to be Happy with Him on earth and in Heaven. God is timeless. He doesn't change. Therefore His intention remains. And He invites us still to choose Him. It's up to us. And as far as the consequences of sin, that which causes all of us to suffer at times, God helps us endure these trials and gives us the source of strength to carry us through - The Cross that guides us and saves us.
So how do we know all this about God The Father? How do we know He is loving and kind and merciful? How do we know our Creator is Good and wants relationship with His creatures? We know the nature of God The Father because Jesus not only told us, but showed Him to us. Jesus Himself is The Father's Love. As we read in the gospel of John ...
"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work." (John 14:6-10)
If you really want to know if God is good or mean, look at Jesus. Look at the life Christ lived on earth, and all the good works, miracles, healings, words of inspiration and life, teaching with authority, showing us firsthand how to love one another. Jesus is not mean, and He tells us very clearly that The Father is in Him. The Father Himself comes to us in the form of His Son, and once again reveals His Love for us.
Today is also The Feast of The Most Holy Trinity, where God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit - one God in three divine persons, is honored by us. It's a perfect day to reflect on what a Good God we have. It's a perfect day to open our hearts in prayer to God's Fatherly love, guidance, protection and goodness.
No one knows us better than our Maker. The one who made us, understands us. He Loves us. Love is His nature. God Himself is Love and we come from Him. Love created us into His own image and likeness. He is the same God now that He was when He created us, and He has the same intention still. To give us the opportunity to share in His Divine Love and have a close intimate relationship with His children.
We have eternal value and a God-given reason for our lives. Many of us may not know what it's like to have a loving Father. To have a Father who cares about the details of our lives, who understands our pain, who is always there for us, who never leaves. Our broken and sinful nature causes all fathers to be imperfect like the rest of us. So it may take time to develop a relationship with God in this way. But let's be open to the truth. Let's not allow our own experiences to limit God's presence in our lives. Let's not reject Him anymore.
We have a God with a heart! We find our Heavenly Father within us, in our hearts. Our heart is the essence of who we are. God's heart is the essence of who He is also. God created this "place" for us to meet Him directly. Within the human heart, creature and Creator come together. God is the one who made our hearts and He knows better than anyone else what it needs. It needs Him.
If Jesus had only one thing to say to us when He walked this earth over two thousand years ago, I would bet my life that it would be a resounding and clear message of "THE FATHER LOVES YOU!" Jesus is helping us to get it already. The Father is Good and we need only look to His Son to see it.
If we had only one thing to say to The Father today it would be - Thank You! Thank you for creating us, for giving us life and the opportunity to live eternally in Heaven with You. Thank you for sending your Son into the world to save us. Thank you for pouring out your Holy Spirit into our hearts so that we can get to know you now even while on earth. Thank you for loving us as no earthly father ever could. Thank you for being patient with us always and for understanding our human frailty. Please increase in us the grace to know you, so that as we get to know you we will then naturally love you, serve you and be Happy with you forever.
I pray that by the grace and power of The Father's Spirit, The Spirit of Christ Himself, The Holy Spirit of God, we will come to know His immense Love for us in a New Way, Today.
Happy Father's Day Eternal Father. We Love you too!
In Jesus' name. Amen.
New Way Today
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