“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honour and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.” (Rev 4:11 NLT)
“... everyone who is called by name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:7)
God’s original intention was that he would enjoy us and that we would enjoy him forever. When we read the Bible without any filters or preconceived ideas it is truly amazing what he says about us.
He made each one of us to bring him pleasure. All too often we believe that the “everything” in Revelation 4:11 excludes us! We picture God taking great delight in the creation of the natural world but it seems the creation of man has brought him nothing but trouble. We imagine him enjoying looking at the mountains and the forests or the seas and the lakes but frowning with contempt as he looks upon us. We see him enjoying the earth’s expanse but waving a stick of judgement over mankind.
Although everything was created to give God pleasure, sadly the fallen world and the fallen nature of humanity means that there are many things that sadden his heart. He delights in us glorifying him and bringing him pleasure. As we are awakened by his love we become aware of the glory resting on us and we can enter into the glorious inheritance which he has for his children.
God takes great delight in all of his children. None are excluded from his love; we were all made to bring him pleasure.
May our hearts be awakened to the truth of who we really are.
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." (John 17: 24-26 NIV)
However much we remember of our early days, that is not the beginning of our story. It begins way back in time, in fact, before time began. Before the foundation of the world God had each one of us in mind (Psalm 139:16). He knew all about us. He knew where we would be born and where we would live (Acts 17:26). The prophet Jeremiah was told that God knew him before he had been formed in the womb. He knows each of us intimately and more importantly he has made us in order to have friendship with him!
So, our story begins in the beginning.
From before the creation of the world there has been a beautiful unity and harmony in the Trinity. Relationships between Father, Son and Spirit were based totally on love. There was no element of control or manipulation. There was no fear or insecurity, nor were there any divided loyalties. The Trinity was complete in itself. It was so complete, in fact, that God did not need creation as an object to love. Yet, Jesus prays that we will enjoy and be drawn into the same unity and the same relationship which the Trinity enjoys. Jesus’ prayer is, quite simply, that we would be like him!
So the beginning of the story is perfect love. Everything in creation was made by love and for love. Love was the foundation of the world. Love was the essence of the life that was breathed into us. Our story begins when a loving Father breathed love into the human race. It was what we should have enjoyed forever. God really is our Father. He knows everything about us. He chose the day we would be born and the places we would live. He knit us together in our mother’s womb. He is the Father of our spirit. We were conceived in his heart before the beginning of time. Not one of us is a mistake.
God has always been Father and he always will be Father. His heart’s desire is to be a Father to you!
"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:18 NIV)
"I myself said, “‘How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’ I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me." (Jeremiah 3:19 NIV)
I am very privileged to have four lovely children. All our friends know that I am their father. Their friends know that I am their father; school teachers, bank managers, work colleagues – they too know I am the father of these four children. Many people know that I am a father but only four people know it intimately. Those four are my children. They have lived with me and shared my hopes, dreams and failures. They know what I like and what I am like. They know what I like doing, where I like going and the sort of food I like. They know what makes me cross and what makes me happy. They have experienced my care, my love and my provision. They are my three daughters and my son.
It is just the same in the church. Most people know that God is a Father in much the same way as people outside of my family know that I am a father. They know that fact because they have been taught it or because they see it in Scripture. But they may not have experienced it. Too many people in the church only have a theology of God as a Father but few have come to experience him as a Father to them.
God’s heart is that we come to experience him as Father. God, our Father, wants us to have a heart of sonship and to experience his love as Jesus did. After all, when we became Christians we became children of God. May the eyes of your heart be opened and the ears of your spirit tuned in to hear the voice of One calling you, the One who has always been Father and who wants to be a Father to you.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)
Lamentations is not one of those books we read very often. Most of us know the few verses from the middle of chapter three which remind us that the steadfast love of Lord never ceases and his mercies are new every morning. If we read the context of those few verses we see a picture of something that looks remarkably like a lot of our own days. The writer is having a bad day. In fact, he may be having a bad month or even a bad year as everything is going wrong and he cannot seem to find any relief.
In Lamentations 3:21-23, Jeremiah suddenly remembers something which once again brings him hope. He remembers that God's love never ceases and that his mercies never end. They are new every morning. He remembers that God is faithful. In the middle of his despondency he remembers that his Father is good and that he will not let him go. Even in the midst of pain and suffering there is hope.
We, too, can have hope. God is the same yesterday, today and forever and just as Jeremiah could remember and experience God's goodness, so too can we. Whatever our situation, we can call to mind the faithfulness, love and kindness of our Father. We can have hope. We can believe that, because of the Father's great love for us, we are able to be drawn back to the place of love. God does not stop loving us when we go through a hard or painful situation but sometimes we struggle to receive or live in the centre of his love for us.
Today, Father wants to remind you that his love for you is never ending.
A Father to YOU is a signpost to the heart of the Perfect Father. When we became Christians we were given the right to become children of God (John 1:12). Sadly, many of us fail to take up that right and instead continue to live as slaves or orphans. But our true destiny is being sons and daughters who have a permanent place in the Father's family. This blog is an encouragement to help you know who God really is and who you really are.