This week at least three different and separate occasions brought to mind the thought of the relationship between God the Father and us as His sons and daughters in Messiah: the Bible study at Grace House on Sunday; a letter from Hannah concerning the establishment of a Christian school; and a discussion with a man from Canada who prays for 60 ministries in Israel.
Dt 5:16 Honor your father and your mother, that you may live long on the land/earth which God has given you, and that it may go well with you.
1Jn 5:9-13 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater, for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
For those who believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of God, we have the privilege by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to call God, ‘Father’. Jesus came to reveal God’s name as Father (Jn 17:6, 20-26). There are many names of God throughout the Bible, but the only personal one is revealed by His Son. It is written that no one knows the Son but the Father, and no one knows the Father but the Son, and those to whom He reveals Him.
From the first chapter of the Bible in Genesis, we can see YHVH God as the Father creating Man – male and female – in His image and in His likeness, to be sons and daughters, to honor Him…and even to love Him. It took the death of THE Son of God on the cross for our sinfulness against God our Father to bring us rebellious children back home through repentance and faith in the good news of salvation. Through this new birth, we receive a new heart and a new spirit to know and to love our Father in Heaven, who first loved us.
ARE WE CHILDREN – SONS AND DAUGHTERS – WITH OUR FATHER’S HEART?
This is not simply a theoretical question, but it affects ultimately every other relationship we have! In Malachi it’s written that Elijah will come before the great and terrible day of YHVH, and will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and of the children to the fathers. God wants us to have His heart for one another in our own families, and in His large family of those who believe in Jesus His Son.
Pr 1:8-9 My son, hear the moral instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother. For they will be a graceful ornament on your head and chains about your neck.
When we read the book of Proverbs – a book full of wisdom to help us govern ourselves in the real world – we see it is written largely from a father’s point of view. Each of the first seven chapters are full of instructions from a father to his maturing children. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Solomon is writing as a father who has learned something to pass on to his children (and to us and ours). We know that God have Solomon more wisdom than to any other man in history, except for Jesus Himself; yet with all his wisdom he sinned greatly against YHVH who had said to King David that He would be a father to Solomon, and Solomon a son to Him (2Sam 7:14).
We learn from accepting correction from our Father, both earthly and especially Heavenly. Then we learn to be under authority, and have something of value to pass on to our children and to others: show our love for the Lord by listening to Him and receiving His correction, moral discipline, His encouragement. (Heb 12:5-13)
Sometimes we simply need to humbly accept the Word of God our Father to deal with our lives – with our motives, our attitudes, our character. Jesus the Son came and spoke the word of God His Father to us. In Christ, God relates to us as children whom He loves and wants us to mature in our character to display His character in us: the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the qualities Yeshua taught in the Beatitudes.
Yeshua prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one. Do we have the heart of our heavenly Father, a heart of flesh to rejoice in doing His will from a motive of love, and to hear Him say, “This is My beloved son/daughter, in whom I am well pleased”?
Let us learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, and to listen to each other as brothers and sisters who have one Father…God.