By Paul Palmer, Sr.
As a young boy in Jamaica, I accompanied my father on foot from the Pedro Plains to the top of the Santa Cruz Mountains where we lived. We started the trip just before the sun went down and arrived at our destination just before sunrise. I did not know the way we would take or what to expect along the way. The only thing I knew was that I was with my father and that we were going home. I had complete confidence in the fact that he knew the way and would be there for me during the long dark night. He would protect me, help me, feed me and give me times of rest as we walked and talked together.
Such is our Father – but in a more blessed and perfect way. As Christians, those who have believed on the Lord Jesus, God is our Father. We delight to call Him “our Father” and we gladly acknowledge that we are His children:
|“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name” (Jn. 1:12 NKJV).“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 Jn. 3:1).|
Our Father Revealed
It is the Lord Jesus who wants us to know that our Father knows and cares for His own. Among other things, He, the Lord Jesus, came to reveal the Father – to make Him known to us. No other person or angel could do so. It took One who ever was “in the bosom of the Father” (Jn. 1:18) to declare Him.
Seven times between Matthew 5 and 7 we find the words “your Father,” and three times “your heavenly Father.” Is there any doubt that we have a Father? No, none whatsoever! He is a loving Father who will always be there for us.
|We have a Father in the heavens above,We have a happy home prepared on high; We have a Savior, whose surpassing loveMade Him content even for our sins to die.|
(James G. Deck, 1802-1884)
Our Father’s Knowledge
Our Father has perfect knowledge. He knows everything. The psalmist says, “O LORD, You have searched me and known me, You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether” (Ps. 139:1-4). He concludes, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it” (Ps. 139:6).
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God” (Rom. 11:33). “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Mt. 6:8).
|“Abba, Father,” words of mercy, Words of comfort, words of love, Covering all our needs and longingsTill we reach our home above!|
(Miss Catherine Helene von Poseck, 1859-1953)
He knows our needs and is more than able to meet every one. He has promised to do so day by day. Let us trust Him continually. “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Phil. 4:19-20).
Our Father Gives
Our Father not only knows but He gives “good things to those who ask Him” (Mt. 7:11). “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (Jas. 1:17).
From a heart of love He gives to His children that which they need; that which is good for them. His great desire is for fruit to be seen in them and He is daily looking to see more and more of Christ formed in His children. To this end, He may have to give us a pruning at times. Pruning involves the removal of dead or overgrown branches which prevent fruit bearing. Thus, pruning precedes fruitfulness: “You shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit” (Lev. 25:3), and “Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (Jn. 15:2).
Is there anything new in my life today for the Father to appreciate? Was there anything yesterday for His pleasure? He only appreciates and finds delight in that which speaks of Christ.
Our Father Forgives And Feeds
Our Father knows; He gives and He forgives: “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mt. 6:15). Yes, our Father is a forgiving Father – and He loves to see a forgiving spirit in His children.
Our Father also feeds: “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value that they?” (Mt. 6:26). It is wonderful to be at the “Father’s table” and to enjoy fellowship with Him. “Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ” (1 Jn. 1:3). He has provided food for our souls that we may grow and mature as Christians. He delights to see us feeding on Christ and becoming more like Him as we read the Scriptures, God’s Word.
Our Father Protects
He cares for the birds; Will He not care for us? Will He not protect us? The Lord Jesus said, “No one is able to snatch [us] out of My Father’s hand” (Jn. 10:29). We are safe and secure, sheltered by our Father’s hand.
Our Father Loves
He loves us with an everlasting love because we love the Lord Jesus (Jn. 14:21,23). The Father will certainly provide all that we need for the Christian pathway, and at the end of our journey the Father’s house awaits. The Lord Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions … I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn. 14:2).
|How blest a home, the Father’s house!There love divine doth rest;What else could satisfy the heartsOf those in Jesus blest?|
The Father’s house, the Father’s heart,All that the Son is given,Made ours, the objects of His love,And He, our joy in heaven.
(Mrs. J. A. Trench, 1843-1925)
|God and Father, we adore Thee,Now revealed in Christ the Son,Joying in Thy holy presenceThrough the work that He has done.|
Filled with praise we bow before Thee;Thou art evermore the same;With adoring hearts we bless Thee,Magnify Thy holy name.
Worship, honour, praise and glory,Would we render unto Thee;Heights unsearched and depths unfathomedIn Thy wondrous love we see.
(Edward Henry Chater, 1845-1915)