Knowing God as Father


“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV 1984)

 I recently traveled twenty thousand miles to be with my father on his birthday, and throughout my journey, I pondered upon the blessings and privileges of being my father’s child.

There was one word, precious to the lips of Jesus, and that word was “Father”.  All through His life on earth, Jesus always spoke to God as “Father”.

In any journey, there is a pathway and a destination.  John 14:6 illustrates that Jesus is the way, and the destination is the Father.  It is through the Lord Jesus Christ that we can know God as Father;  He is the only one who can reveal the Father to us.  By receiving new life through Christ, God becomes our Father, and this is one of the greatest treasures of Redeeming Grace: not only are we received into God’s family, we also gain all the privileges as children of God, being made joint heirs with Christ.

Let us consider some of the blessings of knowing God as our very own Father:

First, we receive a sense of personal identity.  As our earthly fathers give us our identity and our family name, we have the same sense of belonging when we become children of God.  We can run to our Heavenly Father’s arms, knowing that He cares for us and knows our every need.

Second, we obtain a home in heaven.  Heaven becomes very real to us, with the assurance that we have a Father who loves us and awaits us when our earthly lives are over;  our Father, the Creator of the universe, will send forth an escort of angels to usher us into a glorious entrance into our heavenly home.

Third, we have an assurance of total security, knowing that we are in the Father’s hand: “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:29   It is important to know that we are safe and secure in the Father’s hands, to consider that we are of infinitely more value than the sparrows, who are even under the watchful eye of the Father.

Fourth, knowing God as Father provides a motive for service.  “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” John 8:29  Many would have us believe that worldly success provides security and a sense of fulfillment; however, the opposite is true, because with success, as the world defines it, comes the fear of losing the very things it brings forth. But the path to fulfillment in life is simple, as demonstrated by the Lord Jesus Christ: it is knowing God as our Father, and making it our intense desire to please Him by our actions, attitudes and motivations.

How wondrous it is to greet each new day, to experience the blessedness of knowing and trusting God as our Father!

References:

Louisa Clayton, The One Great Reality, Address II, 2009, BiblioBazaar Edition

Derek Prince Sermon, “Knowing God as Father”, DP030+DP031

Photography by Dovydenko Vyascheslav

Warmth and Rain

… traveling again with unpredictable web connectivity and a full schedule… my blogging activity will be sporadic for the next few days …

Warmth and Rain

A carpet of rain greets me
in  the land of the rising sun,
soft as the smiles of women in kimonos,
gentle as their tread in silken slippers,
and my harried heart unravels
from the origami
of purple cranes —

dusk arrives in a myopic mist,
as the aircraft lifts me to the sky,
I watch infinite shades of blue
darken to indigo,
and the rain comes again to meet me
on the tarmac
in Manila —

late afternoon among the clouds,
descending slowly
upon these emerald islands,
the warmth surrounds me,
bare feet await
to walk through my familiar places
once again.

By D. G. V. © 2012

The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing

The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing

 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3

… a synopsis of A.W. Tozer’s writing

Before God created man, He prepared a world filled with things for man’s use and enjoyment; however, within the depths of man’s heart was a shrine where only God was worthy to inhabit.

With the entrance of sin, a perversion occurred that made those very gifts of God a potential ruin to the soul.  Problems began when God was forced out of His central shrine in the heart and “things” were allowed to enter and control.

“There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets “things” with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns my and mine are verbal symptoms of our deep disease.  Things have become necessary to us, God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by this monstrous substitution.1

 Jesus Christ shone the light on this “tyranny of things” when He called upon His disciples to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him.  “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25)

There is a “self-life” whose chief nature is its possessiveness, and to allow this adversary to live is to lose everything in the end.  To conquer and relinquish it for Christ’s sake is to lose nothing, but to preserve everything unto life eternal. And the only effective way to vanquish this foe is by the Cross.

Abraham’s heart was put to the test when God asked him to offer his son Isaac for a burnt sacrifice.  By his obedience in not withholding his son, Abraham removed Isaac from the temple of his heart, and allowed God to reign there unchallenged.  He became a man utterly surrendered and obedient to God.

Wealthy in worldly riches, Abraham had everything, yet he possessed nothing. After that bittersweet experience on Mount Moriah, the words “my” and “mine” never again had the same meaning for him; the sense of possession which these words connote was removed from his heart.  Abraham realized that his real treasures were unseen and eternal.

The blessed ones, the happy ones, are those who have renounced every external thing from their hearts, so God can reign there unrivalled. And though free from all sense of possessing, paradoxically, they gain all things because God is their treasure:  theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Reference:  A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God,  in the Public Domain in the United States, Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, Gutenberg.org electronic book, pp.30-45

 Footnote:  1 Ibid, p. 31

*** Photography by Sergey Ivanov

New York Harbor, One September


New York Harbor, One September

… a September memory, 2001

September comes
with its whimsical wind,
and the bittern’s barbaric yawp
echoes across the creek,
a snowfall of seagulls perch
upon the jetty,
watch
as we hoist our sails
at the mouth of the bay —

the sloop floats like paper
blown
by a little boy’s breath,
past inlet coves and marinas:
we reach the Harbor,
the sun’s golden glint turns to rust,
the air is clothed
with subtle shrouds of grey
for weeping —

far off into the distance the skyline
is a ghastly dream,
toothless
of two towers,
and the salt air mingles with smoke
and burning steel,
ashened mortar,
the  putrescence
of flesh and flowers —

we turn around,
maneuver the wind,
the charts and tides,
to reach our own secluded harbor,
cradled by the arms of moonlight—
we throw down the anchor,
fall sleep under a cupola
of infinite constellations.

by D. G. Vachal. © 2012

*** photography by slgckg @Flickr Commons