17/06/2018: The Father Heart of God

John 14:8-12

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

  1. What does God look like? 

Parables are useful tools that Jesus used for teaching his followers and that reveal the heavenly Father’s heart; for example…:

Luke 15:11-32

11 Jesus also told them another story: Once a man had two sons. 12 The younger son said to his father, “Give me my share of the property.” So the father divided his property between his two sons.

13 Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat.

15 He went to work for a man in that country, and the man sent him out to take care of his pigs. 16 He would have been glad to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him a thing.

17 Finally, he came to his senses and said, “My father’s workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death! 18 I will go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’”

20 The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him.

21 The son said, “Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son.”

22 But his father said to the servants, “Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. 24 This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found.” And they began to celebrate.

25 The older son had been out in the field. But when he came near the house, he heard the music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants over and asked, “What’s going on here?”

27 The servant answered, “Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father ordered us to kill the best calf.” 28 The older brother got so angry that he would not even go into the house. His father came out and begged him to go in. 29 But he said to his father, “For years I have worked for you like a slave and have always obeyed you. But you have never even given me a little goat, so that I could give a dinner for my friends. 30 This other son of yours wasted your money on prostitutes. And now that he has come home, you ordered the best calf to be killed for a feast.”

31 His father replied, “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we should be glad and celebrate! Your brother was dead, but he is now alive. He was lost and has now been found.”

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

More examples:

  • Luke 10:25-37
  • Luke 11:33-36
  • Luke 12:13-21
  • Matthew 18:10-14
  • Matthew Ch’s 5-10
  1. What does your human father look like? 

We are all created in the image of God:

Genesis 1: 26:

26 God said, “Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures.” 27 So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. 28 God gave them his blessing and said: Have a lot of children!

  1. Do you believe you are created in God’s image? If so, what challenges does that concept bring to the way you live out your life? 

Think carefully about the following Bible readings this week:

  • Ephesians 4:29

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:

Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails!

11 When we were children, we thought and reasoned as children do. But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways. 12 Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don’t know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us. 13 For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love.

  • 2 Timothy 3:

14 Keep on being faithful to what you were taught and to what you believed. After all, you know who taught you these things. 15 Since childhood, you have known the Holy Scriptures that are able to make you wise enough to have faith in Christ Jesus and be saved. 16 Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. 17 The Scriptures train God’s servants to do all kinds of good deeds.

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

  1. What do you think about the concept of being a “Spiritual parent” to someone else who is new to the faith? This reading might be helpful:

2 Timothy 3:10

Paul wrote to Timothy: “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, …”

God loves us all. God has created us all in his image. Today, I encourage and bless the Father’s here; may the Lord be close to you, may he guide and direct your thoughts, your words and actions; may you feel his strength in your inner being; and during those times of blessing, pain and struggle may his peace direct you! May you know the truth that you are never alone, but that your eternal Father is always with you!

God bless you,

Rev. Tim

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