My Heavenly Father’s Embrace
By Regular Contributor Michelle
While I was on my way to the farmer’s market this past weekend, I witnessed such an incredible thing. A young girl around five had her arms wrapped around her father’s neck. She was in complete contentment. It was so beautiful to witness. Why? Because the image of the father and daughter reminded me of my heavenly Father and His heavenly arms wrapped around me. In His embrace, I am secure and loved.”For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ — who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity for us, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of works.” (Titus 2:11-15)
This same weekend, I also had the privilege of seeing friends from Toronto come to my home town in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A group came down for a conference to which one of them spoke specifically about our heavenly Father’s love. So many testimonies were shared from people who struggled with the fact that God in heaven is our actual Father. Stories of abandonment, abuse, neglect, and alcoholism were all shared. For many, it is hard to see God as our Father because we tend to reflect our own view of our mothers and fathers on to God.
But if we looked at the Godhead differently — such as your Father is God, rather than God is the Father, we might see our relationship with Him differently. We also need to search the scriptures (as a workman) so that we learn who God is. What is His name in this current dispensation of grace?
When we study His Word, we learn that the word Godhead is used three times. “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone graven by art and man`s device.” (Acts 17:29) Further, ”for the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) And finally, “for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9)
So, who are we referring to when we talk about the Father? “For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell, and having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, by Him, whether the be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind, by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight; if you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” (Colossians 1:19) His name is Jesus.
This is why Jesus (when He taught us to pray) told us not to use vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (Matthew 6:7-8) Rather, Jesus gave us an example of how we should pray so that we would understand that God is not a far away being that we can never know but rather our heavenly Father who cared enough about His creation to shed His own holy blood on the cross for you and I. Indeed, Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” so that we would understand that He is God Himself clothed in a sin-prone body. (John 10:30-33; John 1:1-18)
This is why Jesus said, “After this manner therefore pray ye: “‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9)
Luke writes of the same event, stating that one of Jesus disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray” as John (the Baptist) taught his disciples. Therein Jesus said, “ When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread and forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:1-4)
We begin to understand His love when we realize that even in the old covenant (or old testament as we call it today) the Lord was already making a way of salvation whereby as far as the east is from the west, so also will He remove our transgressions from us. “He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever … like as a father pities children, the Lord pities them that fear Him.” (Psalm 103:7-13)
This is my heart to share and my prayer is that you may see the Father the way I do. I see Him as one who is with you at any stage of your life, and always there with open arms. So join with me then in “looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing or the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity” — so that you too may be secure in His embrace. (Titus 2:13)