Our Father #121

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In the Old Testament, God appeared distant, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. A cloud by day, pillar of fire by night in Moses’ day. Many churches, pastors, preachers present God this way still. Suggesting you have to have a prophet to hear from God, a pastor to shepherd you, apostles to lead you to new ground and so forth.

It’s as though you were deaf or God was talking to His best people and all the rest of us, well, get things second hand if at all!

BUT, when they asked Jesus how to pray, He said, “Pray this way,” and He began a prayer with these astonishing words, “Our Father….” Sixteen times He used the expression our father or your father.

Such a breakthrough! The Old Testament had many names for God, Healer, Provider, our Righteousness, but Jesus gave us a new name, precious, intimate, passionate: “Abba! Father!” Father loves you. He delights in FAVORING Y O U. Because He loves you!

Many know God as well, “God.” Many know Him also as “Lord;” but few know Him as FATHER. If you see Him as distant – or worse, as dead, you are likely to act like a little god – of your own little world, trying to control things and make things work our ‘your’ way. But God is NOT DEAD! Nor far away!

Remember Jesus has revealed Him: Heb 1:3 “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature;” John 14:9 “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” And He went about doing GOOD, healing all those bound by the devil, Acts 10:38. A friend of sinners and outcasts, tax collectors.

Love is unconditional, at least God’s love is. We do not need to do stuff, to get it right, to check off all the boxes before God will love us. He so loved the world that He gave His son. He loved us before we were born. If you are listening to preaching that says God’s love comes with conditions; I suggest you — stop listening!

What does God —YOUR FATHER expect from you, want from you, desire from you, my friend? Simply to receive His love. To flourish in His grace. To spend your time exploring His extravagant, limitless love. And — COME ALIVE!

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