The Heart of the Father

“Communication” or “the way we interact with someone” (this is done by talking, facial expressions, hand gestures, and in our generation today we do communications through Facebook, sending SMS, voice call and even video call). The way we communicate with someone determines how we value them.

Examples:

We can talk freely with our friends and laugh about funny and silly things.

When we talk to our parents, teachers or someone older than us we always talk with respect.

When we talk to God, we talk through “Prayer”

“Prayer” is the way on how we talk to God when we thank Him for good grades, nice toys, and all the blessings He has given us. In the same way prayer is the way when we ask God for something that we wanted.

“Prayer is the way on how we talk to God”

We can learn through the Bible that Jesus talks to God the Father through prayer. In fact, Jesus taught us how to talk to God the Father in our prayers. Let us all read Matthew 6:9-13

A. God’s Word

Matthew 6:5-13

9 “This is how you should pray. Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation but rescue us from the evil one.

B. Teaching

As we talk to Father God in our prayer, we are looking into the good heart of God who hears all our prayers. By knowing His heart, we get to know His character as our Father which Jesus revealed by teaching us how to communicate with God through prayer.

Today, we are going to get to know the character of God the Father by looking into His heart through our prayer.

1. Key Point 1: God the Father is Powerful

“Power is the capability to do something.”

Who among you watch Marvel movies? Alright, the characters in different movies have their super powers that enables them to fight the bad guys. (Side note: But among them there One and Only Super Hero that saved the World, and His name is Jesus)

Most kids consider their father as “super heroes” or “super daddy” because of the strength that they can see from them. Our fathers are strong. They can lift us up and carry us in their arms. We often ride on their back and ask them to run around while they are carrying us.

What does the Bible teach about Father God’s being Powerful?

9 This is how you should pray. Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. 10 May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10 NLT)

Have you noticed how Jesus addressed God the Father as “Our” this means that we share one Father (with Jesus) who is in heaven.

Father God is so powerful (Jeremiah 10:12 NIRV “But God used His power to make the earth”) that by His spoken words He was able to create everything. In Genesis 1:1-2 NLT it is written “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

“But God used His power to make the earth” (Jeremiah 10:12 NIRV)

There are a lot of stories in the Bible where God showed his power. God even parted the Red Sea so that His sons and daughters, the Israelites can escape the chasing Egyptians.

Guide Question:

1. We all know that God is powerful, and He created everything that we can see around us. Name 3 of God’s creation which you like the most. Share why you like it.

2. God the Father is Provider

Can you still recall a moment when you ask something from your father? Like a new toy, a bicycle, a chocolate, or even a day in an amusement park?

We all grow up knowing that our father wakes early in the morning because he prepares to go to work. But have you ever wondered why he is doing all this thing? It is because he needs to provide for you.

Jesus showed how praying to our Daddy God connects us to him not because we need something but because we know that is our Great Provider (Jehovah Jireh)

10 Give us today the food we need (Matthew 6:11 NLT)

I remember another story in the Bible when it was evening, and there were a lot of people following Jesus. So, Jesus told his disciples to look for food, but they said that there were no nearby store and even if there is, they need to spend big amount of money to feed the people. Until one child offered his 5 loaves and 2 fishes. Let us look into the Bible what happened.

20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of left (Matthew 14:20 NLT)

Guide Questions:

1. Can you still recall the time when you asked from your father something? What was that thing? Did he give it to you?

2. What are the things you are asking Father God right this time? Share it to your life group and find a partner to pray for it.

3. God the Father is Protector

Our father is our life time protector. A “protector” is “someone with the ability to keep us secured against any harm or danger”

A “protector” is “someone with the ability to keep us secured against any harm or danger”

This photo of the father protecting his son went viral because of the great love of the father to protect the son from getting wet because of the rain.

This is the same love is what God is giving to you.

13 And don’t let us yield to temptation but rescue us from the evil one (Matthew 6:13 NLT)

Whenever King David is in trouble, he writes a Psalms to God to show how God protects him despite there are a lot of troubles. In one of his Psalm, he wrote:

2 “The Lord is my protector; He is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and in Him I am safe…” (Psalm 18:2 GNT)

Guide Questions:

1. Your father loves you so much that’s the reason why he protects you. What are the usual things that your father protects you from? Do you follow him? If yes, why? If no, why?

2. What are the things that makes you sad or worry? Share it to your group so you can pray for one another.

C. A Short Story About Father

Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, “My dad writes a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it poem, and they give him 50$”

The second boy says, “That’s nothing. My dad writes a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100”

The third boy says, “I beat both of you. My dad inspired other men to write down on pieces of paper. Those pieces of paper is what we now call “Bible” – His name is God!

Father God is a Forgiving Father

God’s character does not stop in just being a Powerful Father, a Great Provider and an All-Time Protector but He extends His love by forgiving our sins through Jesus Christ who save us all by dying in the cross for our sins.

12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. (Matthew 6:12 NLT)

Looking into the heart of the Father, we can see that His Power, Provisions and Protections are not because He is able but rather to keep us in dwelling in His Presence to satisfy us. Satisfaction is knowing who He is and His plan for our lives, especially His salvation plan for us.

Romans 8:28 (Part 2)

Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together
for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called
according to His purpose.

 

Let’s get back to the rest of this wonderful promise!

for good.

Now here, most people have many misconceptions. When we think of our good, we think of our benefit, our convenience. But most of us don’t even have a slightest clue on what is good or if it will turn out to be for our good. It’s like when I buy clothing. I usually buy something because it looks nice on display and I think it would look nice on me. I put it on and test it in inside the fitting room and sees that my decision to buy it is correct. When I wear it to an event, that’s when I would unfortunately realize that it is too fitted or too big or have a too deep neckline or the straps are falling off my shoulders or even the fabric is too sheer which is a big disaster. It’s like when I buy heels that make my legs look slimmer and sexier and ended up arguing with the same heels and throwing them out because of the many many blisters it gave my feet all the time I wear them (true story btw).

The truth is we don’t know what is good for us. We are completely ignorant of what will give us the greatest benefit. We desire for a lot of things thinking they will be good for us. We think that we know better when in both sides of reality, only God does as He is omniscient. The only way we can be assured that what we choose will be for our good is only if it is in line with His will. Not something pleasing to the eyes, not something other people said is good, but because it is His will.

Then what if I mistakenly or intentionally go against His will? We, the children of God, the eternally secured in Christ. In these times when we become wayward, He, as omnipotent and sovereign as He is, is still able to change and fix things up, not His will, but all things around it, including us, so that we will realize that we are going the wrong way. He will let us undergo a very very painful learning process, which we can actually avoid, until we surrender and say “Thy will be done” because He knows it will be for our good. In time, when mature in our walk with Him, He will enable us not to live our lives according to our will but according to His.

to those who love God.

Well this promise is for everyone who loves God and entrusted their lives solely unto Him through faith in the salvation and lordship of Christ Jesus. We cannot simply say that we love God and go on with our lives.

The Bible says in Matthew 22:37-38 says, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” Loving God demands our everything: our heart, our soul and our mind. He is to be our greatest treasure, cherished and delighted into, desired above everything else. (See the article: A Treasure Found). 

This will only be possible once we received Jesus in our lives as our Lord and Savior (here is how). The reason behind it is it is impossible to treat God as your most treasured possession as humans. Humans, because of our sins, cannot come before a Holy God. In ourselves alone, our eyes are veiled and blinded from the beauty of His grace and love in Christ Jesus. We maybe able to see and know God the Father but it will extremely difficult to obey Him and surrender unto Him if we rely only our own. We all are sinful by our innate nature, selfish and foolish beings in rebellion who think highly only of ourselves and want to take control of our own lives and would never relinquish it to anyone else.

But once we repent of our sins and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we become born again and a new creation. We will have Christ living in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Now with Jesus living in us and convicting us through the Holy Spirit, we will be able to really treasure God for who He is whom is above everything else just like Jesus did. We will desire for God and a deeper intimacy for Him. We will  be able to keep His commandments because we love Him through us abiding in Christ.

to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Lastly, we, the beloved children of God, are here on earth not just to enjoy the blessings of the abundant life He bestows upon us but we are the called according to His purpose. His purpose is not according to our terms and condition but His terms which is for us to be  transformed from glory to glory and become Christ-like. We are to be changed and conformed to the image of Christ. Why is that?

Christ as we all know is God-incarnate, the image of God. He is the greatest manifestation and revelation of God’s love for the world. As John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God willingly gave Jesus up for the undeserving world to save us from our sins because of His love. Jesus willingly died as His obedience to the Father. As a result, we who received Him will have eternal life. Jesus is the glory of the grace of God.

When we are transformed to the likeness of Christ, we will be  able to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. God’s love will have a physical vessel in this cruel world, us loving other people thorough Christ. Just as Jesus laid down His life  for us, in Christ, we are enabled to selflessly and lovingly lay down our lives for all sorts of people all over the world. We can be a poured out wine and broken bread with joy as we grasp God’s purpose for our Christ-likeness reveals His heart: His glorious outrageous love for people and the world.

 

I pray that whenever we are reminded of this marvelous promise God has for us we will really use it to convict us and direct us on the great truth it contains. May we be able to believe in our hearts that:

 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

 

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Romans 8:28 (Part 1)

Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together
for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called
according to His purpose.

One of the most loved verses in the Bible, this promise offers such comfort to believers everywhere. It gives us an assurance that everything that happens in our lives, especially the hard and difficult times, will be used by God for our good and His glory. But I wonder how much truth do we really understand regarding this passage. Let’s slowly take it apart and learn more.

And.

The preceding verses of this part of Romans 8 talks about the suffering that we, believers, have to endure at present (Romans 8:18) and the bondage of corruption that the creation is now temporarily captive of (Romans 8:21). Along with these are our responses to these suffering and bondage, that we, ourselves and the whole creation, groan and long to be delivered from it and let the glory in us be finally revealed (Romans 8:18-23). Now the next verses come with the promises of hope, perseverance and help from the Holy Spirit through intercession (Romans 8:24-27) where our verse comes next as an addition and a conclusion.

Yes, we will have tribulations in this life that we need to endure. Yes, we will long to be set free from the evil that our innate human nature has. We will experience pain and suffering, failures and setbacks. But God promises us His comfort amidst all these. He promises hope in Him as we persevere and eagerly wait on Him. God promises that the Helper, the Holy Spirit that iswill aid us through rough and confusing times when we do not know what to pray for and even how to pray anymore. And lastly, He promises that all that we will go thru will be used by Him.

we know that.

To know in a sense is to have the possession of a certain truth, fact, or knowledge as Merriam Webster defines it and most people superficially perceive it as only that. To know is to be informed. But actually, to know goes beyond getting the information. To know means having direct cognition, awareness and understanding of the information given, also as defined by Merriam-Webster. The mind should be able to process and digest the information through the use of our senses. The information will not be left as it is but it will create something inside of the receiver and be utilized and manifested outwardly. It isn’t something of mere passive receiving. It has to be something that is actively perceiving. 

Having said that, this promise that we have in Romans 8:28 should not be just a mere fact or information we know about God, like “Oh, I know God is like this and that; I know He also will do this and that”, but it should be an unshakable rock where our faith and trust in His character as our God should be deeply rooted. This amazing truth should manifest in our daily lives: how we interact with people, how we face challenges, how we fight sin and the battles within ourselves, how we make choices and decisions wherever we maybe. These actions proves that we have a great understanding and perception of who God is in our lives and what He is capable to do.

all things.

Ah! This one made me smile. Usually when we read this part, we right away think of good and bad things. We think of the comfort and pain we have in this life, our successes and defeats, health and sickness, blessings and afflictions, joys and sorrows. But we should not limit it with these.

When the Apostle Paul said “all things“, he really meant it. It includes the big and small events in our lives, from the smallest decision we make to hardest choice we have to choose. Even the things that we think are unnoticeable and insignificant, the implications of our actions, well, God includes that as well.

It also includes the times we reluctantly disobey God due to fear and doubt and also the times we surrendered and willingly  obey Him.

It includes all sorts of people we meet and know and may it be for a few seconds or a few hours or days everywhere.

It includes our past, present and our future.

It even includes the places we have been thru. The sights we have seen. The experiences we have.

It includes our hopes and dreams, our failures and nightmares.

It includes all things my finite mind can think of and cannot think of anymore.

All these things are not out of God’s self-indulgence or compulsion or ignorance. God, with all His infinite wisdom, will have all these things used by Him and not be wasted. All things.

work together.

And everything listed up will work together! HUH?! Really??? Even the times when I failed Him because I cheated? Even the times I got angry and hurt someone? Even when I deliberately disobeyed Him? I mean good and wonderful things, when combine, are meant to produce good and wonderful results. We get that. But to add the bad things, the sour things, the bitter things, even the evil, ugly, gruesome, scary and dirty things? Oh Yes! It’s like God making a delicious meal with a recipe including all that we are and all that we have. Adding mud and manure to sugar and cream! Only He, in His awesome power and infinite wisdom, can mix everything together, no exclusions, and make everything work together in harmony to produce a delightful taste!

 

 

If you want to know more about Romans 8:28, stay tuned for Part 2!

If you want to have all things in your life work together by God for your good in His glory, click here.

 

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ARISE

HIS CHILD.

HIS BELOVED SON.

HIS BELOVED DAUGHTER.

‘Tis a wonderful and great moment when the Christian understands and firmly believes his/her identity in Christ as a CHILD OF GOD!

Once he/she takes hold of it and its implications, he/she will be irrepressible!

There will be no fear, no doubts, no worries.

No lies from the enemy will be able to deceive him/her.

The enemy cannot have a foothold on him/her!

For what the Bible says about him/her, it is so!

Not buts, no ifs, only, I AM A CHILD OF GOD, PERIOD.

So dear brothers and sisters, KNOW AND BELIEVE that YOU are A CHILD OF GOD.

HIS CHILD.

HIS BELOVED SON.

HIS BELOVED DAUGHTER.

YOU are GREATLY LOVED by the SOVEREIGN KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS.

YOU are HIGHLY FAVORED by the GREAT ALMIGHTY CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE.

YOU have the HOLY SPIRIT IN YOU who is GREATER than he that is in the world.

Set and fix your eyes on your FATHER GOD and CHRIST JESUS!

Dwell on it each and every moment!

Preach it to yourself!

Live it for it is the amazing truth about YOUR BEING IN CHRIST JESUS!

Step up! Arise!

Don’t let the enemy tell you otherwise!

Arise!

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I urge you, if you want to know how you can have an identity as a Child of God in Christ Jesus, click here.