Monday, September 22, 2014

SHOW US THE FATHER

Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe
Many of us can relate to an earthly father as we would have had the opportunity to be nurtured and grow under his leadership.  We may have been disciplined by our fathers, and some of us may have been ridiculously pampered by him.

Yet many of us may have been under our father’s explicit counsel and strict guidance.  To others, he may have been the sole provider in the home, and yet some of us may have even been raised by father as our sole parental experience and thus saw him as mother and father.

On the counter-side, many of us can relate to our father in a negative light.  It could be that he may have been abusive to us or was never involved in our lives, and therefore he had no involvement in our upbringing.   We may even not know who our father is, or maybe he died before we had the opportunity to know him.  Some have witnessed their father’s backs as he abandoned the family.

Allow me to introduce the Father of all fathers, especially to those who are experiencing a lack in this area of fatherhood.  God the Father is not only Father, but He is also Mother, as one of His attributes is The All Sufficient One – El Shaddai.  This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His children with all their needs as a mother would her child.

Philip, a disciple and Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, once asked Jesus a question – “Shew us the Father” – John 14:8. Jesus’ response to the request was
“……he that has seen Me has seen the Father” John 14:9
Therefore it stands to reason - as we expand what Jesus was really saying - that if we know Jesus, then we would know who God the Father is!

So what are Jesus’ attributes that would personify Him as His Father? 

The very Name of Jesus as Emmanuel meaning “God with us” speaks volumes.  If Jesus is Emmanuel, then so is Father. For some of us this is a comforting thought since our earthly fathers may have deserted us, leaving the rest of the family to manage on their own. The Bible reminds us of God’s promise in the following words –
“…and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you”. Hebrews 13:5
God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah also reminds us of His staying power in the following Scriptures–
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: Isaiah 41:10
and again –
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Isaiah 49:15
Another attribute of the Father as seen through Jesus Christ is that of Provider. There was a time that Jesus and His disciples needed money to pay taxes and Jesus instructed Peter specifically what He should do to get the money needed.
Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee. Matthew 17:27
Jesus, being their Lord, did not leave it up to the disciples to figure how they should have their needs met.  Acting as His Father would, He provided for them in the same way that God the Father took care of the children of Israel in the wilderness.  He was showing the disciples who the Father is. 

In the Book of Exodus Chapter 16, we read of God’s provision of food for the Israelites as they went through their wilderness.  We too, as children of God, will have wilderness experiences, but our Heavenly Father will continue to provide for us in order to sustain us through the periods of what seems to be famine.
So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. Exodus 16:15
Jesus showed the disciples the Father by the way He protected them in times of great physical storms that rose up in their midst. He demonstrated God’s protection, as Father would have protected the Israelites from their enemies. God Almighty fought on their behalf and gained the victory for the Israelites as they walked in obedience before Him.  Gideon’s army was but three hundred persons and they won over the army consisting of thousands of Midianites and Amalekites.
And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. Judges 7:7
Jesus was never an accuser, and in the same way God our Father does not accuse us when we commit sin.  Jesus came as the Restorer to bring us, sinners, back into right relationship and with fellowship with God the Father.  See the account of the woman who was caught in adultery, and Jesus’ response to her.
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Jesus was showing this woman who the Father is – He was showing off a Father who is ready to forgive as long as we come to Him in repentance.

Most of all, Jesus exhibited the attribute of love and compassion to those with whom He was in contact.  Love is who the Father is.  Jesus showed us how to love our enemies. 

Judas was the betrayer of all betrayers, and Jesus knew it all along. Yet when Jesus revealed to all the disciples that one of them would betray Him they were in a quandary, wondering which one of them was the one to betray Him. Jesus did not treat Judas in any way differently from how He treated with the other disciples.  He loved them all in the same way.  He was exhibiting the Father’s Love.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
……God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. 1John 4:16
God the Father longs for us to know Him as Father.  He created us for His good pleasure, therefore we have to know what pleases Him in order that we become His pleasure!
For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent] Ephesians 1:5
for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

Why not take time to learn of the Father through his Son, Jesus Christ?  When we all take a step back and look at our lives, from the past into the present, we must conclude that we must have a Heavenly Father who watches over us to protect us and to provide for us.  All Father wants in return is for us to love Him through His Son Jesus.  The Word of God says, if we love Him, we would do what He says.
If you love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15
As we come to know Father, we would learn how to forgive our earthly fathers who may have abandoned us or hurt us emotionally or physically.  Jesus told his followers to honour our mothers and our fathers.  Our Heavenly Father had given this same decree to Moses when He gave him the Ten Commandments. 
Honour your father and your mother. Matthew 19:19
Jesus was showing all of us the Father.

Jesus forgave all who would have hurt Him as He hung on the Cross.  He even forgave the thief who was repentant.  So is Father toward all of us who need forgiveness
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God! Romans 3:23
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25
I invite you to come to know Father through His Son Jesus.  
He is desiring a meaningful relationship with you.

7 comments:

  1. He is our All. Thank you for the many reminders.
    Visiting from Laura's.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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  2. What a beautiful study on our God the all sufficient one. It is true some have had a wonderful earthly father, yet others lacked a father's tender love and care. It is good to understand that God is all things to us regardless of our earthly father. Thank you for sharing your lovely post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

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  3. This is so true, I know I cannot get through this life without our Heavenly Father. He is always there waiting for us to come to him with our worries. I could not get through this life without talking to God. He has always been there for me, always. I don't only go to him with the stresses of this life but I also go to him thanking him for the beauty that surrounds me. It is in the green hills and the big blue sea and the flowers and the birds that I feel close to him. I thank him as often as possible for the earthly beauties that surround me. My Father in Heaven which is GOD is the most wonderful Father anyone can ask for. He is always there listening.

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  4. Such true, beautiful words. You're so right that for many of us who have rocky relationships with our earthly fathers (to put it lightly) it can be difficult to grasp that God is the perfect Father—and Mother, and Provider, and Everything. It can be difficult to comprehend that He can fulfill every single one of our needs. But when we reach a point of accepting that, it brings the ultimate comfort!

    Thanks for linking up with the #SHINEbloghop!

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  5. What a blessing to read this today and be reminded of His role as our provider in all areas. When I first came to Christ, the Lord put a very special Pastor in my life to teach me the gift of God as my Father. It still is one of the most significant lessons I have learned to lean upon. So thankful that I can call him, Abba.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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  6. Lovely and encouraging! I love my earthly Dad (although he has several faults-- but don't we all!) but am so blessed that our heavenly Father is absolutely perfect and loved us before we were born. Thank you for that, Lord. Amen!

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  7. All I can think of is thank goodness for good male role models who show us a positive example when our biological fathers don't. Thanks for linking up at Equipping Godly Women Fellowship Fridays!

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