More than likely Jesus delighted to speak of God as the Father. According to the Gospels, Jesus used the name Father to God more than one hundred times. Names such as “heavenly Father,” “living Father,” “Holy Father” and “righteous Father” describe the bonds that should unite us to our Lord. Personally, what does it mean to speak of God as our heavenly Father? All of us have not had a loving, caring earthly father. For various reasons, some of us may not know our father. Therefore for them to call God “my Father” may have little, if any, real meaning! Most fathers mean well and do their best and love their children dearly. Imagine what our Father in heaven can do for us!
For biblical references let us read John 1:18, Exodus 33:20 and John 17:3 to learn if anyone has seen God, to read what God told Moses and to make sure that our priority remains to know God because eternal life is to know the Father. What are some special facts that we need to know about God? In Jeremiah 9:23-24 explain what God wants from us as we praise and honor Him! Flashback to God’s word through Jeremiah who said to boast in the Lord and not in our own wisdom, or strength or wealth. The one who boasts says the Lord should do so because he understands and knows God! Jesus came to represent God’s nature and character and to correct any distorted concepts about the Father. In John 14:8-10, notice how little the disciples knew about the Father after being with Jesus for about three years. What can we learn from them? The point is we are assured that the Father’s love for us has been revealed in so many ways; most of all, by the Cross! How crucial, then, that we constantly keep the gifts and blessings of our heavenly Father before us; otherwise, we can easily become discouraged when evil strikes (and it will)!
How should we as believers counteract feelings of worthlessness and despair in ourselves and others? How does sharing God’s love with others enable us as believers to experience that love more deeply ourselves? We can explore our communities searching for people who have forgotten or are unaware of a greater life by receiving God’s love. Street ministry or telephone contacts, gang members, the elderly, teenagers, non-native speakers of English, the financially disadvantaged and the shut ins for various reasons are some people wherein God’s unconditional love can be shared in creative ways. We can undoubtedly not go wrong by asking God for wisdom (James 1:5) to do His work! Our schools community centers, social workers, and religious leaders who can help us frame God’s messages in ways others can understand.
Though there is much we do not understand, we can seek by faith, obedience, prayer and study to learn more about God and His only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the Son of the Living God and our doorway to salvation!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.