HEART TO HEART
Have you ever wondered what God thinks of you? Is it hard for you to believe He loves you as much as the Bible says He does? God is so big, and He sometimes seems so distant - but what is He really like? Do you really know Him? You've heard His instructions, but do you know anything about His emotions or His character?
One of the most wonderful revelations of the Bible is that God is our Father. What do you think of when you hear the word "father"? Do you automatically think of protection, provision, warmth, and tenderness? Or does the word "father" paint different kinds of pictures for you?
God reveals Himself in the Bible, as a gentle, forgiving Father, intimately involved with each detail of our lives. It is not only a beautiful picture but a true one. However, every person seems to have a different idea of what God is like because they unconsciously tend to attach the feelings and impressions that they have of their own earthly father to their concept of their Heavenly Father. Each person's own experience with human authority is usually transferred over to how they relate to God. Good experiences bring us closer to knowing and understanding God, just as bad experiences create distorted pictures of our Father's love for us.
I, Paul, am the youngest of ten and growing up I had a much closer relationship with my mother than I had with my Father, so when I became a Christian and grew in my relationship with God my Father, my heart leapt with joy when I read and experienced the words of the apostle John who declared, “What manner of love the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called the children of God.” 1 John3:1
He is indeed a father to the fatherless and “the helper of the fatherless.” Psalm 68:5, 10:14 and He "places the lonely in families." but it was several years after becoming a Christian that I fully entered a true sonship relationship.
God loves all His children equally and doesn't have favourites. All that He has is available to those who will be open and come to Him.
The story of the prodigal son, recorded in Luke 15, is often called the parable of the Father's heart. Jesus tells it, along with two other stories, not only in response to the seemingly "heart-less" religionists of His day but also for you and me to know what the Father’s heart toward us is.
Jesus narrates the story of a wealthy man with two sons, one of whom asked for his inheritance in advance. The father gave it to him, and the son left, squandered it and ended up eating with the pigs. Finally, Scripture says, the young man "came to his senses." He recognised the folly of his ways and how foolish he'd been to leave home. He returned, humbled, thinking he would ask to be just a servant in his father's household.
"But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it and let us eat and be merry; for this, my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry." Luke 15:20-24
This narrative reflects the father's love towards his son. Jesus explains here how Father God feels about you and me-notwithstanding our failures or wastefulness of what He's given to us. Ironically, the story is born from the fact that among the religious people of Jesus' day, whom you would most think would understand the love of God, there was the least evidence of that love.
In 1989 we encountered the Father heart of God in a most profound and awesome way through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, reading and listening to the Father’s Love Letter. We both realised that here was the father we had been looking for all our lives and neither of us have ever been the same again.
Barry Adams came into a life-changing revelation of the Father heart of God in 1998 and in response created the Father’s Love letter which combines uniquely joined verses from scripture in the format of a letter from Father God to His children. This has been read and listened to all around the world and is now available in 100 plus languages. Please take time to meditate upon these transforming words.
Click here for a link to FathersLoveLetter.com
As we continue to step out into pastures new, different parts of the vineyard and continue adventures in ministry together, our heart and vision is to take the amazing Father Heart of God to the people of God here in the U.K. and beyond, using the word of God, ministry of the Holy Spirit and prayer.
Blessings in Jesus,
Paul and Liz